A university student who made handguns with 3D printer has been jailed, in what is thought to be a legal first in the UK.
Tendai Muswere, 26, claimed the two pistols found at his home were for a film project and that he had found ammunition in a park.
But he was jailed today for three years after admitting two counts of possession and two counts of manufacturing firearms.
Muswere had been a media studies student at London Southbank University, Southwark Crown Court heard.
But Judge Jeffrey Pegden QC dismissed his attempts to say he was working on a film.
Judge Pegden said: “You had not written your script and had no purpose for the props.”
Police searches of Muswere’s home in 2017 and 2018 found 3D printers, firearms components and cannabis.
The judge added: “On the second occasion police came to your house you were clearly aware of the illegality of your actions as you threw parts of a firearm out the kitchen window as police were making their way inside.”
The judge added that the motives for Muswere to make the weapons were “unclear” but found they were not to be used as props.
Earlier this year Muswere pleaded guilty to the charges against him.
John Kearney, defending Muswere, said: “He’s something of a loner, somebody who has a long history of mental illness, not somebody with a history of violence or somebody with a history of an association with criminals.”
Southwark Crown Court heard that Muswere suffered with paranoid schizophrenia, and smoked cannabis to help with anxiety.
Claire Holder from the Crown Prosecution Service said: “This was the first prosecution of its kind in the UK and we hope it serves as a warning to anyone who is considering possessing and manufacturing firearms.”
Ms Holder added: “Muswere claimed that the firearms found in his flat were made for a university film project and were incapable of firing deadly shots.
“However, he was using 3D designs found on the internet which were specifically for the making of live firearms.
“Evidence also showed that he had made repeated attempts to print the weapons, which we believe showed that he was trying to perfect a workable firearm.
“It is illegal to manufacture or possess prohibited weapons without a licence.”