A former organiser for the English Defence League has been jailed for five years after being found guilty of firearm offences.
Police discovered a Webley pistol, ammunition, CS gas and amphetamines following a raid on the house of Paul Duffy in Washington, Tyne and Wear.
Prosecution told Newcastle Crown Court that the gun, which had been manufactured in Italy and adapted in the UK, was tested by experts who confirmed it had “lethal potential.”
The bullets were also live and capable of firing.
Paul Duffy, 47, told police he was looking after the gun in order for a drug debt to be paid off.
Duffy admitted possessing a prohibited firearm, live rounds of ammunition, a prohibited weapon and a small amount of amphetamine.
Judge Brian Forster told him: “Anyone who has in their possession a prohibited firearm commits a very serious offence.
“Parliament has decided that judges must impose a minimum sentence of five years imprisonment in such cases and the reason is clear.
“There must be a deterrent sentence to ensure that people do not take such weapons into their possession.
“Weapons such as this are usually carried in offences of robbery.
“While they are carried there is a real risk of death or serious injury to those who may be the victims of such crime.”
Paul Duffy, a convicted Heroin dealer, along with his younger brother Peter ran the North East region for the EDL until a violent split saw the two brothers breakaway and form the North East Infidels.