DETECTIVES in Middlewich couldn't find out how or why a man jailed for having an illegal handgun got his hands on it.

Detective Sergeant Ryan Ogden of Crewe CID said Andrew Dawson’s motives ‘were never discovered’, adding 'gun crime in Cheshire is rare’ following his sentence hearing at Chester Crown Court on May 31.

Dawson was arrested at his home on Pinfold Lane on Monday, January 15, when officers from Middlewich executed a search warrant.

They found and seize a Walther P38 9mm handgun in his bedroom, as well as shotgun casings, and bullets of various calibres, though none which matched the pistol.

Dawson was arrested on suspicion of possessing a firearm without a certificate, and possession of a firearm by a person previously convicted of a crime.

The 43-year-old answered no comment in his police interview, dodging questions including where he got the gun, his reasons for having it, and whether he owned others.

His only response was to say the handgun had belonged to a deceased relative, and not him.

Dawson was charged and remanded in custody to appear at Chester Crown Court on Monday 3 June, where he was sentenced to a total of five years in prison.

His Honour Judge Patrick Thompson told him he must serve the entire sentence in prison and will not be eligible for early release on licence.

Detective Constable Lauren Constable of Crewe CID said: "Dawson was dismissive of the police investigation from the early stages and later tried to claim the gun had been left inside the address by a deceased relative.

“Information obtained suggested otherwise, and the crown court clearly did not believe his lie and he has received a significant sentence.

“I also hope this result provides some reassurance to the community criminals such as Dawson have no place in our county. 

"Anyone with any concerns relating to firearms should contact Cheshire Police immediately."