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The Role of The Crown Prosecution Service

The Crown Prosecution Service is the government department responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by the police in England and Wales.

As the principal prosecuting authority in England and Wales, we are responsible for:

  • advising the police on cases for possible prosecution
  • reviewing cases submitted by the police
  • determining any charges in more serious or complex cases
  • preparing cases for court
  • presenting cases at court

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Men jailed for smuggling guns into the UK on the bottom of a tourist coach


Two men have been jailed for a total of 28 years today (31 August) for smuggling guns into the UK, using magnets to attach them to a tourist coach.

The court heard that Mark Maynard and Nicholas Barbary worked as a team to bring two sub-machine guns, one of which was loaded, and a loaded Luger pistol from Europe to the UK.

They used strong magnets to stow the guns to the underside of a tourist coach in Europe. They also attached a tracker so he could follow the coach's journey back to its depot in Coventry.

Both men then collected the guns using a van, securing them to the underside of the van in the same way. They were stopped by police while driving back to Crawley and the three guns, along with a silencer and a package of ammunition containing 13 live rounds for the pistol and 166 live rounds for the submachine guns were found.

Tom Guest from the CPS said: "Maynard and Barbary used a tourist coach excursion to smuggle deadly weapons into the country. Both engaged in significant planning to carry out this serious criminality.

"These loaded weapons clearly had potential to kill. The CPS worked closely with Sussex Police to build a strong case against both men, leaving them with no choice but to plead guilty."


Notes to Editors

  1. Tom Guest is a Specialist Prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service.
  2. Nicholas Barbary and Mark Maynard pleaded guilty to importation and possession with intent to endanger life.
  3. Mark Maynard received 16 years two months in prison, Barbary received 12 years in prison and both will have an extended licence period of four years.
  4. For the latest in breaking news from the CPS Press Office follow @cpsuk on Twitter and visit our official News Brief -
  5. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906. Out of Hours - 07590 617233