A MAN alleged to have threatened staff at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, Huntingdon, has been charged with six firearms offences.

Roy Rickard, 72, of Little Staughton, was arrested in Bedfordshire on March 23 on suspicion of possession of a firearm without a certificate.

Earlier in the day, the Huntingdon hospital was locked down for three hours from 4.25am on the advice of Cambridgeshire police following a gun threat scare.

Firearms officers carried out a search of the hospital and its grounds but failed to find anything.

A spokesman for the hospital said that staff were left shaken by the incident but no one was injured.

Yesterday (Tuesday) Bedfordshire police charged Mr Rickard with two counts of possession of a firearm without a certificate, possession of ammunition for a firearm without a certificate, failing to comply with conditions of a shotgun licence and possession of a firearm of length less than 30cm/60cm - a prohibited weapon.

Mr Rickard will appear at Bedfordshire Magistrates' Court on June 18.

Hinchingbrooke Hospital is in the latter stages of introducing an improved security system where swipe cards are required to access wards, theatre areas, the emergency department and other clinical areas.