Guy Savage: The man from P.I.N.N.E.R.

To his neighbours, Guy Savage was just another well-to-do resident of suburbia. Now he's fighting extradition to the US as an alleged global arms smuggler

The flash of stun grenades and the crack of tyres being blown out are not usually associated with the tree-lined streets of Pinner, North-West London. But this is what the residents of Daymer Gardens experienced earlier this year, when their neighbour, an apparently inoffensive businessman living in an £800,000 home, was unveiled as an international arms dealer wanted by US police on smuggling charges.

Guy Savage, a married father-of-two and a former pupil at the exclusive £5,000-a-term Highgate School attended by Michael Mansfield, QC, and the former Home Secretary Charles Clarke, is now facing extradition to the US over allegations that some of his work selling weapons there fell foul of the law.

One neighbour – a 44-year-old hairdresser who has lived on Savage's road for 10 years – said the images of his arrest and his subsequent extradition hearing couldn't be further from the everyday activities of the quiet, family-orientated community.

"We are all shocked. It's not the sort of thing to happen in your road – it's very, very quiet here," she said.

"On the day, my two children were in bed asleep and I was out walking the dog. I returned to find absolute pandemonium. Police cars, vans and undercover cops everywhere.

"He seemed like a nice enough neighbour – he didn't seem like an arms dealer," she added.

But then not many people would have been able to spot his profession. He appeared just another middle-class professional going to work among the bankers and lawyers who live in the area.

Savage, 42, is the owner of Sabre Defence Industries, which has divisions in the US and the UK. He was also previously chairman of the Firearms Dealers Committee, which acts as a voice for his industry and advises Scotland Yard on gun licensing laws.

Despite his position, Savage was seized after the US authorities contacted the Met, alleging that he had been illegally exporting weapons between America and Britain.

Detectives went on to raid the weapons factory he ran a short distance away in Northolt, where they found an arsenal of automatic rifles, handguns and ammunition rounds.

Savage now faces being extradited to the US to stand trial for allegedly exporting weapons in crates with false bottoms and forging shipping records.

At a hearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Monday, Savage claimed he would be denied a fair trial if extradited and sentenced to life in an "inhumane" US jail.

"They [the US authorities] want to use me as a means to extort money from a sovereign individual and potentially imprison me for the rest of my life," he said.

"The US justice system is open to everyone in the same way the Ritz is open to everyone for tea."

He added: "The Met have subjected me to inhumane and degrading treatment and punishment for a crime that is yet to be proven."

Sabre Defence Industries had been trading in America for some time with a £125m contract to supply the Government with automatic rifles. But the Met says Savage came under suspicion after the US authorities began investigating his employees for selling weapons to gang members in 2009.

In a raid on the company's premises in Nashville, Tennessee, police found documents which suggested guns had also been smuggled from the UK to the US.

The Met's Detective Sergeant Nathan Coutts, who led the investigation from London, said: "The case came to us in May 2010. The US were claiming there were irregularities of firearms and their components being shipped from the UK to the US and the other way round.

"The firearms were all subject to licences but they were being shipped illegally. The fact you've got a licence doesn't give you carte blanche to do what you like."

Savage has been indicted by a US federal grand jury on charges relating to international firearms and trafficking violations. If found guilty on the more serious charges he faces 20 years in prison and a $1m fine.

Savage caused outrage in 1996 when he blamed families of the Dunblane massacre victims for ruining his livelihood.

He was banned from possessing and trading in guns in 1994 after a large collection of prohibited weapons was found at premises in St John's Wood.

Judge Nicholas Evans said he would give a written ruling on the extradition on 30 November.

News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck stars as prime suspect Nick Dunne in the film adaptation of Gone Girl
filmBen Affleck and Rosamund Pike excel in David Fincher's film, says Geoffrey Macnab
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
News
people
News
i100
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Sport
Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
football
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Sport
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
Rachel, Chandler and Ross try to get Ross's sofa up the stairs in the famous 'Pivot!' scene
tv
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments