The son of a Basingstoke councillor has denied illegally possessing an antique pistol after being summoned to court following an anti-terror raid.

Homes in Rooksdown were evacuated yesterday during searches carried out by Hampshire Police and Counter Terrorism Policing South East.

Simon Tustain, of Penny Black Lane, was arrested on Wednesday and charged today with possessing a firearm without a certificate. 

Appearing at Basingstoke Magistrates' Court this afternoon (Friday, September 10), the 25-year-old pleaded not guilty to the charges as his mother, the Labour councillor Jacky Tustain, watched on in the public gallery. 

Prosecuting, David Fossler told the court Mr Tustain had been flagged to authorities after police visited his home in April and seized an antique pepperbox firearm, a multi-barrel revolver. 

The police said Mr Tustain allegedly said he intended to use the gun "on a range, to shoot rats or on his boat", the court heard. 

Mr Fossler said: "The pepperbox pistol has been looked at and police confirmed it fell under Section 57 of the Firearms Act but it was also referred to as an antique firearm." 

This means that if the pistol was to be kept for "curiosity" or ornamental reasons, it would not require a certificate. However, it would do if it was intended for use. 

Mr Fossler continued: "The gun was seized by police and there was no requirement for Mr Tustain to do anything but there would have been a flag against his name." 

Defending, Mr Tustain's solicitor Alfie Doran said his client had "volunteered" the firearm to police and had "cooperated". 

The court was told a "red flag" was raised against Mr Tustain as a result of the firearm incident which led to him being questioned after he returnedd from a four-week trip abroad. 

The prosecutor said Mr Tustain had told police he wanted to visit the United States to do research for a charity he was trying to set up but due to travel restrictions, decided to spend a month travelling Morocco, Turkey, Bucharest and Prague instead. 

After arriving back in Britain, Mr Tustain was interviewed under the Firearms Act at Stansted Airport in Essex.  

Mr Tustain was granted bail following the hearing at Basingstoke Magistrates' Court on the condition that he must live and sleep at his home address. He must also report to the town's police station twice a week. 

The case has been sent for trial at Winchester Crown Court where Mr Tustain will appear on Wednesday, October 13. 

Speaking afterwards, Cllr Jacky Tustain told The Gazette it was a "private family matter". 

Cllr Tustain was elected in May to represent Popley.