A CONVICTED criminal was found to have illegal possession of a firearm when police visited his home.

Wayne Fisher’s home in Crosby Street, Maryport, was the subject of a search on July 22.

Inside, Carlisle Crown Court heard, police found a mixture of drugs - cocaine, cannabis and Valium.

An air rifle was also located inside the property.

Fisher, 39, was already banned from being in possession of such a weapon after receiving a 16-month jail term in April 2016 for a cannabis supply crime.

At the crown court yesterday, prosecutor Gwen Henshaw revealed: “He said that the firearm belonged to his former housemate, who is deceased.

“He had left it in his property.”

The existence and death of that housemate had been confirmed.

Fisher had been advised to remove the item from his home however during a previous police search, but had failed to do so.

He admitted possessing an air rifle when prohibited before the expiration of a five-year prison sentence licence period; and also the possession of class A cocaine, class B cannabis and class C Valium.

Those offences put him in breach of a suspended prison sentence imposed for a violent domestic attack during which he attacked a woman with a broken piece of glass.

Brendan Burke, defending, confirmed the firearm had remained in the housemate’s cupboard along with clothing, and said of Fisher’s crime: “He forgot about it. He had never had any involvement with it in any case.”

Passing sentence, Judge Nicholas Barker told Fisher: “You knew you shouldn’t have had it.

“That’s the point.”

Fisher had a six-month prison sentence suspended for 18 months. He must also complete a rehabilitation activity requirement, and a two-month night-time curfew.