Former constable charged up to £400 for gun control advice which should

A former police constable who charged almost £400 for gun control advice which should have been free, demanding payment from two hotels, is facing jail.Paul Duffield, 55, billed the Black Swan Hotel for £393 and also tried to charge the Feversham Arms Hotel while he held the post of civilian firearms enforcement officer at North Yorkshire Police.Yorkshire is known for its driven grouse shooting on the moors which straddle the A1 motorway.Both of the hotels Duffield advised are in the market town of Helmsley, which is considered a hotspot for the sport and hosts shooting parties involving hundreds of game.Duffield admitted two counts of misconduct in a public office and two counts of possessing firearms without authority at Teesside Crown Court.The second charge relates to powerful air rifles which were found at his home in Easingwold, North Yorkshire. He previously admitted possessing ammunition without authority.Duffield was a former police constable who took on a role as a civilian firearms enforcement officer with the force, the court heard.This responsibility involved dealing with enquiries from members of the public and police officers about firearms, shotguns and explosives, and providing specialist advice on issues such as licensing and certificates.The role also involved inspecting buildings to decide if security was sufficient to store guns. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The Black Swan Hotel’s website says it has three private dining rooms which are ideal for accommodating visitors involved in shoots, and provides secure gun cabinets so guests can store their weapons.James Gelsthorpe, defending Duffield, said his client was undergoing treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder following an incident unrelated to these proceedings and was previously of good character.Judge Sean Morris bailed Duffield so a pre-sentence report could be prepared ahead of his sentencing in March.Warning him he could be jailed, he said: “The fact I am getting reports does not mean it won’t be a custodial sentence.”

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