Man jailed over home-made gun found in Hampstead Heath ‘hide’ as anti-terror cops warn public to be vigilant
PUBLISHED: 11:22 21 August 2019 | UPDATED: 11:52 21 August 2019
A man has been jailed for five years after hiding a home-made gun in an impromptu campsite on Hampstead Heath.
Forensics linked Dominic Van Allen, 46, of no fixed abode, to the weapon.
It had been found when Heath Constabulary officers discovered the hidden camp on November 11 last year.
Allen was sentenced on Friday at Blackfriars Crown Court.
The court had heard how officers found what had initally appeared to be a pipe bomb in the camp, along with a bullet in nearby undergrowth.
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The weapon was was subsequently identified as an improvised gun with an inbuilt silencer.
Counter-terror cops also found a jiffy bag with Allen's name on it near to the scene.
He pleaded not guilty to two firearms offences but was found guilty at trial.
Acting Det Ch Supt James Harman said: "The hides in Hampstead Heath were discovered by diligent parks officers on routine patrol.
"It's not known what Van Allen's motives for having the gun were. If not discovered by police, it could have been used in crime and seriously injured or potentially killed someone."
He asked members of the public to remain vigilant in open spaces such as the Heath, and if they ever saw anything suspicious to report it online at http://www.gov.uk/ACT or call the police on 0800 789 321.