A Widnes man, jailed for having a shotgun in his house, has been told by top judges he cannot complain about his sentence.

Joseph Davies, aged 31, of Avondale Drive, was locked up for three years at Warrington Crown Court in May, after admitting possessing a shortened shotgun.

He launched a bid to challenge his sentence at London's Criminal Appeal Court yesterday, but it was dismissed by three of the country's most senior judges.

The court heard officers went to Davies' former address in Clapgate Crescent, Halebank, on October 3, last year, after a tip-off from members of the public.

Officers knocked at his door and he showed them the weapon.

He produced the gun, which was in two pieces. It appeared to have been decommissioned so it could not be fired.

The weapon was being stored in a bag, inside a towel.

Davies claimed he had found the shotgun in a field wrapped in the towel and taken it home.

The crown court judge did not believe his account.

Dismissing his appeal, Mr Justice Roderick Evans and Mr Justice Teare said his sentence was 'not excessive' considering all the circumstances of the case.

Inspector Oan Whiley of Widnes Neighbourhood Policing Unit, said: “Although the shotgun wasn’t capable of firing cartridges at that stage, it certainly could have been used to frighten or intimidate people.

“Thanks to the information we received from the local community, it has been taken off the streets.

“This shows just how valuable community intelligence is.

“Unlicensed firearms have no place in Widnes and my officers are committed to removing all weapons which could potentially be used to commit crime and we will continue to act upon intelligence from members of the public.”