The court heard how Mr Clarke was on the balcony of his home in Nailsworth Crescent, Merstham, when he spotted a black bin liner at the bottom of his garden.
In his statement, he said: "I took it indoors and inside found a shorn-off shotgun and two cartridges.
"I didn't know what to do, so the next morning I rang the Chief Superintendent, Adrian Harper, and asked if I could pop in and see him.
"At the police station, I took the gun out of the bag and placed it on the table so it was pointing towards the wall."
Mr Clarke was then arrested immediately for possession of a firearm at Reigate police station, and taken to the cells.
Stupid cops, you say? Add in idiot prosecutors
Prosecuting, Brian Stalk, explained to the jury that possession of a firearm was a "strict liability" charge – therefore Mr Clarke's allegedly honest intent was irrelevant.
Just by having the gun in his possession he was guilty of the charge, and has no defence in law against it, he added.
And a judge who needs to have that gavel shoved up his ass, as that's the only way to reach his brain
Judge Christopher Critchlow said: "This is an unusual case, but in law there is no dispute that Mr Clarke has no defence to this charge.
"The intention of anybody possessing a firearm is irrelevant."
Got all that? Well, it gets even better:
He also showed jurors a leaflet printed by Surrey Police explaining to citizens what they can do at a police station, which included "reporting found firearms".
Quizzing officer Garnett, who arrested Mr Clarke, he asked: "Are you aware of any notice issued by Surrey Police, or any publicity given to, telling citizens that if they find a firearm the only thing they should do is not touch it, report it by telephone, and not take it into a police station?"
To which, Mr Garnett replied: "No, I don't believe so."
Guy finds gun. Guy takes it to police to turn it in, and they arrest him. With NO ARGUMENT about the facts- that he found it and turned it in to the cops- they charge him with a crime. And the judge says 'no defence' because 'intent does not matter'.
Added: I'll make you a bet: if he'd left it there and called the cops, and it disappeared before they bothered to arrive, he'd have been charged with not 'securing' it somehow. AND quite possibly been charged with possession anyway("You already told us you had a gun, so you're guilty!")
And then we add in a bunch of shitheads as a jury. It only took them 20 minutes to convict the man on an absolutely bullshit charge.
Britain is fucked. And so is anyone there who gives a damn about the concept of justice.
Update: Kevin had a commenter point him to this about an earlier brush with- well, either 'the Law' or 'officialdom'- where this gentleman came out on top. Which is making people wonder if Mr. Clarke was set up, to make him regret- and warn other people not to, in any way- standing in the way of the little bastards screwing with their lives. Considering what the 'justice' system is like over there, and the level of 'Big Brother is in control, don't piss him off' attitude in government, it wouldn't surprise me.