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Son of deceased billionaire businessman kept a loaded gun over his bed

Patrick James Mansfield is accused of having 1,257 rounds of ammunition at his home.

Jim Mansfield had owned Weston Aerodrome before receivers were appointed to his businesses.
Jim Mansfield had owned Weston Aerodrome before receivers were appointed to his businesses.
Image: Graham Hughes/RollingNews.ie

A GARDA SEARCH team recovered more than one thousand bullets in the home of a son of billionaire businessman Jim Mansfield, a court has heard.

Patrick James (PJ) Mansfield (39), who kept a legally-held loaded pistol hidden behind a picture frame over his bed, is accused of unlawful possession of 1,257 rounds of Walther .22 ammunition without a firearms licence at his former home at Coldwaters Lake in Saggart.

He has pleaded not guilty to the charge and his trial commenced at Dublin District Court today.

However, after hearing evidence from some of the prosecution witnesses, Judge Ann Ryan held the case was too serious to be dealt with in the district court. She refused jurisdiction meaning he will be tried in the circuit court which, on conviction, has wider sentencing powers.

The court heard that gardaí from the Criminal Assets Bureau arrived at the property with a search warrant at about 7am on 29 January, 2015.

Mansfield was present with his partner and they remained in the kitchen while officers proceeded to search the house.

Boxes of bullets

Det Garda Maria Flynn told the court that boxes of bullets were found in a gun-safe, in a bedroom walk-in wardrobe and in a garage. A licensed rifle was found.

The court heard Detective Garda Nigel Petrie found a loaded Walther .22 pistol behind a picture frame over a bed in the master bedroom.

It was a legally held pistol and contained one round in the breech but was made safe by Detective Garda Maria Flynn.

The court heard he was licensed to have 300 bullets for the Walther .22 pistol but he had 1557 rounds of ammunition for the gun. He has yet to be served with a book of evidence and was ordered to appear again on 17 January next.

His brother Jim Mansfield Jnr (48) has pleaded not guilty to having 180 rounds of .22 Walther ammunition without a firearms licence at his home at Tassaggart House in Saggart on 29 January, 2015.

They are sons of businessman Jim Mansfield Snr who died in 2014.

The businessman was behind the Citywest hotel and Weston Airport and several other companies but his ventures were badly hit by the recession.

Read: Businessman Jim Mansfield has died >

Read: Schoolgirl receives €35,000 after her face was cut at a Leisureplex >

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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