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Gunman 'had weapons conviction'

A man who walked into a hair salon and shot his ex-wife had a previous conviction for possessing weapons, it has emerged.

Darren Williams, of Cwmbran, South Wales, went on the run following the shooting and was found dead in woodland five hours later by police.

According to newspaper records, the 45-year-old father of two was jailed for four months in 2004 after being found with "an arsenal of weapons".

The Western Mail reported he was handed the sentence after police found weapons including a stun gun, a .22 pistol, a machete, a hunting knife, canisters of CS gas and bullets in his possession.

Mr Williams used a double barrelled shotgun in the attack on his estranged wife in the salon where she worked in Newport on Friday afternoon.

On Sunday the 45-year-old's family said he "desperately needed medical attention" following the break-up of his marriage. It was reported that Mr Williams had kept the weapons under his bed and had told police he collected the items and they were not intended for use.

Robert Buckland, Mr Williams defence counsel, told the court at the time: "These are weapons which could have serious consequences if used. But there was no use made - they were collector's items and kept well out of the way."

The report also reveals Mr Williams was earlier convicted of two charges of possessing a prohibited weapon, one of possessing prohibited ammunition and one of purchasing a converted firearm without a certificate.

Following the shooting on Friday, Superintendent Dave Johnson, local commander for Newport, said Mr Williams was known to police and did not own a shotgun licence. He also described Mr Williams as enjoying hunting and the "outdoor life".

Gwent Police said they are very interested to find out how Mr Williams came to be in the possession of a shotgun, which is leading their inquiries.


From Belfast Telegraph