A FORMER police officer has been cleared of stealing weapons from his force’s armoury after the prosecution dropped the case.

Richard Rockey had been due to stand trial at Exeter Crown Court in May accused of stealing a variety of air weapons when he was working at Avon and Somerset police HQ at Portishead.

He was cleared after his defence team questioned some of the evidence against him, leading to a re-examination of the case by the prosecution.

Mr Rockey, aged 59, of Dornafield Close, Ipplepen, near Newton Abbot, was found not guilty of seven charges by Judge David Evans at Exeter Crown Court.

He told him: “This brings these proceedings to an end. You are formally acquitted of all charges. I can see this is an appropriate outcome.”

He had previously denied theft of an air pistol between July 4, 2019 and October 6 2021; a Hawk air rifle between December 2, 2020 and October 6, 2021, both from Avon and Somerset police,  and an ACOG sighting system from Gloucestershire police.

He was also found not guilty of possessing prohibited weapons, namely a Brocock .22 air powered revolver and a Saxby and Palmer .177 gas powered air gun at his home on October 5, 2021.

He was also cleared of possessing a mini flare kit and 17 cartridges without a certificate on the same date.

Mr Tom Bradnock, prosecuting, said: “The Crown are offering no evidence. We have very carefully reviewed the Defence Case Statement which was submitted and made further inquiries in response to that document.”