A former Hell's Angel has limped free from Swansea crown court after a judge agreed not to jail him for a firearms offence.

Gary Young's problems began in September, 2007, when police raided Bethany House, a property in Haverfordwest owned by the West Wales Chapter of the Hell's Angels and used as a clubhouse.

Hidden in the roof rafters of a detached garage at the property officers found a "lethal" handgun fitted with a silencer and with a full magazine of bullets. A bullet had been transferred from the magazine to the firing chamber, making the weapon "ready to go."

Next to the gun police found a tin of ammunition with Young's fingerprints on it.

Janet Gedrych, prosecuting, said the discovery led to a series of events, including "several" raids on Young's then address at Blossom Farm, Tier's Cross.

It also led to Young going on trial accused of possessing the lethal weapon. He denied the charge and was found not guilty.

During his trial Young explained he was a probationary member of the Chapter and had been told to clear up the garage. He had seen the gun and ammunition but left them where they were.

He said he was not the owner of the gun and did not know who was.

However, explained Miss Gedrych, during the raids on Young's home police found an air rifle fitted with a silencer. The gun was more than twice as powerful as allowed before it was classed as a firearm and the owner in need of a licence from the police.

Young explained he had bought the gun without realising how powerful it was. He said he used it to shoot rabbits and had fitted a silencer because, without one, rabbits ran off after the first shot.

Police also found a cheque which they considered to be suspicious. The cheque was taken away while enquiries were made but it turned out that Young was correct when he said it represented a payment for snakes, which he bred.

Young, now of North Court, Haverfordwest, was invited to Haverfordwest police station to collect the cheque. He turned up on November 20th and was searched. Police found a knuckle duster and a small quantity of cannabis resin.

That triggered yet another raid on his home, during which officers found small amounts of herbal cannabis and cannabis oil.

Young admitted possessing a firearm without a certificate, possessing an offensive weapon and possessing three amounts of cannabis.

His barrister, Francis Jones, said the knuckle duster, would not have been used as a weapon but would have been welded to his motorbike as an ornament.

He said that while the long police investigation was underway Young had fallen off his motorcycle and suffered serious injuries. During his trial he had needed crutches to get in and out of the court dock.

Mr Jones said that during his trial "certain people" had sat in the public gallery and had taken exception to Young "naming names" about who was whom within the West Wales Chapter of the Hell's Angels.

The outcome, he added, was that Young had been expelled from the chapter.

Judge Huw Davies granted Young, who had been held in custody until that moment, a conditional discharge for two years but told him to pay prosecution costs of £722.

Before leaving court Judge Davies handed Young his two motorcycle magazines displaying images of knuckle dusters welded to machines.