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Man in purple van found with loaded James Bond gun in Thornton Heath is jailed

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A MAN found with a loaded James Bond-style gun when stopped by police in Thornton Heath has been jailed for five years.

James George Simpson, 47, of St Lawrence Way, Brixton, was stopped in his van on November 7 in Thornton Heath High Street at approximately 2.25pm.

He was flagged down when officers noticed his distinctive purple-coloured van matched the description of a similar van which had been linked to a number of burglaries in the area.

When asked if he had anything of interest, Simpson confessed he had the firearm in his waistband and police found a loaded Walther PPK handgun - made famous as 007's weapon of choice - on him.

Both he and his male passenger, 55, were arrested at the scene.

Officers then searched Simpson's home address where they found more ammunition.

He was charged the next day with possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and two counts of possession of ammunition with intent to endanger life.

He pleaded guilty to the charges on December 17 at Croydon Crown Court and was sentenced last Friday (January 23) to five years' imprisonment at the same court.

The 55-year-old passenger was released without charge after further enquiries.

Acting Detective Sergeant Maria Acworth, from the Met's Trident Gang Crime Command, who investigated the case, said: "Another gun has been taken off the streets and a dangerous criminal will now be behind bars for a long time.

"This result came about from the good work of the local officers that identified Simpson's van as suspicious and Londoners should feel safer knowing that Simpson and his gun are now off the streets."


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