A tattoo artist from Whitchurch has been fined for possessing an air-rifle that was too strong.

Nathan James Prentice, 46, of Queen’s Way, Whitchurch, bought the air rifle at a specialist shop and used it for target practise.

But police, who visited his home for an unrelated matter which was not proceeded with, seized the rifle as a precaution, according to prosecutor Rhian Jackson.

Forensic examination showed that it was strong enough to require a certificate under the Firearms Act.

Prentice appeared from custody at North East Wales Magistrates’ Court at Mold on Thursday after he failed to attend an earlier hearing and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

He admitted possessing the .22 air rifle in October of last year at his former home at Moss House, Fenns Bank, Whitchurch, with a certificate.

The defendant was fined £265 with £85 costs and a £30 surcharge.

A confiscation order was made in respect of the rifle.

In interview, Prentice said that he bought the rifle for £8,800 from a specialist shop.

Defending solicitor Andy Holliday said that his client had bought it as an ordinary air rifle and had no idea that it passed the 12-pound limit which meant it would need a certificate.

He had an interest in air weapons since he was a teenager in cadets and had handled many which did not need a certificate.

The rifle concerned did not feel any different and he had no explanation why it was more powerful and was unaware that it was until the police report.