A MAN who was found with decommissioned illegal firearms has been given a hospital order.

Police discovered Spencer Payne had weapons, ammunition and items which could be used to make them work in April.

The 53-year-old was due to stand trial and contest charges against him but Judge Christopher Morgan decided he was unfit to do so because of his paranoid schizophrenia.

Experts said Payne had become fixated that neighbours in Parsons Field, Dedham, had a “black powder gun”.

After hearing from psychiatrist Dr David Ho explain there was a bed available for Payne at a hospital immediately, Judge Morgan made the order with a “Section 41 restriction”.

That means clinicians must get permission from the Secretary of State for Justice to discharge him because he has been deemed a risk to the public.

Judge Morgan said: “I decided you were unfit to stand trial having read expert reports of the opinion you were suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.

“It is evident from your records you have for many years suffered from episodes of it.

“Indeed, in 1997 after your conviction for arson being reckless as to whether life would be endangered a hospital order was imposed.

“You were given an absolute discharge in 2006 but remained under supervision in the community.

“In 2015, it became clear you had stopped taking your medication and I have little doubt your paranoid schizophrenia started manifesting itself.

“This time your focus being on the possession of decommissioned firearms.

“It is quite clear you present a significant risk of serious harm to the public.

“By themselves the firearms in this case were in component parts but with a little work they were viable.

“The ammunition you had was blank but there was evidence you had manipulated it by putting bullets in the cartridges

“The possession of firearms gives rise to a risk of harm and serious harm at that to the general public.”

Judge Morgan made a deprivation order meaning

police could seize other potentially dangerous items from Payne.