THE man whose weapons collection was taken away by police after they raided his Worcester home is the chairman of a local gun club.

Graham Lane, aged 65, of Kilbury Drive, Worcester, was arrested on Monday and released on police bail yesterday after spending a night in the cells at Worcester Police Station.

We revealed in your Worcester News yesterday how he was arrested on suspicion of possession of an illegal firearm after police raided his semi-detached home in a quiet residential street, confiscating a massive haul of guns, cannons, rockets and ammunition.

No criminal charges have yet been brought against him. Mr Lane, a founder member of the Worcester Norton Shooting Club, told your Worcester News on his doorstep yesterday: “Everything they took away is licensed and lawful.

“I don’t wish to comment any further.”

Mr Lane, chairman of the club, was defended yesterday by an old friend who is also a founder member of the gun club, Terry Sims.

Mr Sims, who has known Mr Lane for between 35 and 40 years, helped found the club in March 1982.

He said of Mr Lane: “He’s a very upright, law-abiding member of the club. Everything he has done has been by the book. I have every faith in Graham. What he’s done is completely legal. All the club is behind him.

“He’s going to seek representation from one of the major shooting organisations – he’s still in discussions about which one. His place is an Aladdin’s Cave but everything is secured as per the policy of West Mercia Police.

“Police are doing their job but it took 10 hours to clean it out. It wasn’t done in a very diplomatic way and they didn’t put things back in the right place. This could happen to anyone in the gun club. I am quite confident he will be totally exonerated.”

Mr Sims said Mr Lane was an enthusiast about military history and said he was ‘a custodian’ of various military items and a skilled engineer who had managed to recreate a three quarter ton Napoleonic cannon, one of four confiscated in the raid.

The guns he said were mainly big game rifles and antique percussion rifles from the 1850s.

Mr Sims said the shells shown on the front page of yesterday’s Worcester News being carried away by officers were probably deactivated, He added: “They’re probably empty and would do you about as much damage as a banana.”

Mr Sims added: “He didn’t sleep at all. He is very tired and shaken up.”

Chief Inspector Jerry Reakes-Williams, of South Worcestershire Division of West Mercia Police, said: “A warrant was executed at an address in Kilbury Drive, Worcester, by officers acting on community intelligence received.

“A significant number of items were seized, many of which historic in nature. These items are now being examined but this process will take some time.

“Enquiries will continue into whether each of these items was being kept within the correct terms of a firearms licence.

“I would like to take this opportunity to stress that there is no danger to any member of the public in Kilbury Drive or the nearby residential area.”

They confirmed a man had been arrested in connection with the incident and released on police bail while enquiries continue.