AN AK-47 assault rifle was found when police searched a Herefordshire home.

Alexander Sinclair, 64, of no fixed address, admitted possessing firearms and ammunitions without a certificate when he appeared before magistrates on January 5.

The court heard police had uncovered the weapons while searching Sinclair's home in Lyde on an unconnected matter on August 16, 2018.

Prosecutor Emily Clewer said Sinclair then handed over a number of other firearm parts, in addition to the AK-47, which had not been decommissioned.

Magistrates heard Sinclair had previously held a firearms certificate, but that it had expired in June 2017 and had not been reviewed since.

George Cousins, for Sinclair, said he had obtained the ammunition lawfully from his work at the time, but had forgotten he had it after it had been packed away during a move.

The court heard Sinclair had the gun parts stored in a box in his garage which were for practising on, while the AK-47 had been a gift.

"He was given the AK-47 by a friend, and thought it had been deactivated. He had kept it as a memento of a previous life," Mr Cousins said.

"This has put a great deal of stress on him, which has resulted in the break-up of his marriage and mental health issues."

Chairman of the bench Christopher Hillyard told Sinclair he had made a monumental error, but that he believed he would not make the same mistake again.

Sinclair was fined a total of £500 and ordered to pay costs of £185 and a £30 victim surcharge.

The weapons and ammunition were ordered to be forfeited.