Two men have been jailed for firearms offences that involved three guns and 20 rounds of pepper spray ammunition.
Harvey Gillett, of Bush Road, Southwark, was sentenced to five years and 10 months’ imprisonment, and Dean Batchelor, 28, from near Silverthorne Road, near Clapham Junction, was sentenced to eight years and nine months’ imprisonment.
Batchelor pleaded guilty to the sale or transfer of a firearm to Gillett and the importation of two firearms and pepper gas ammunition,
Gillett pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm when prohibited for five years and driving a motor vehicle taken without the owner’s consent.
The court heard that on May 5, 2019, Gillett was riding a stolen high-powered motorbike with false plates linked one of Batchelor’s addresses.
After about 20 minutes, Gillett left the property and returned to his home address in Bush Road where he was seen by officers to go to an electrical cupboard.
He was arrested by armed officers who recovered a partially converted firearm from the electrical cupboard.
The court also heard that Gillett has a previous conviction for possession of a firearm.
When Gillett was arrested he was found to be in possession of a ‘burner phone’ with a contact number for ‘Aggro,’ who officers later established was Batchelor.
On May 16, 2019, two forward venting imitation revolvers and 20 rounds of pepper gas ammunition were intercepted by Border Force officers sent to Batchelor’s home address.
Police found evidence which proved that Batchelor had ordered and paid for the weapons.
On June 18, 2019, Batchelor purchased two replica imitation colt firearms and a quantity of blank rounds of ammunition.
He was immediately arrested when he left the store and the owner of the store confirmed Batchelor had previously attended the store on 2 May 2019, to collect three replica firearms, which he had purchased the day before over the telephone – one of which was the same model as that seized from Gillett.
Detective Inspector Tom Williams, from Specialist Crime, said: “This investigation led to several lethal weapons and ammunition being taken off the streets of London.
“If they had not been seized, I have no doubt that they would have gone on to cause at the very least serious harm, if not death.
“These convictions are a result of extremely hard work by the team, who worked tirelessly to secure evidence against Gillett and Batchelor. In the end, the evidence was so strong against them that they had no choice but to plead guilty.
“Tackling violent crime is the Met’s top priority and I want the public to be reassured that a great deal of work is taking place to identify and pursue offenders, help bring perpetrators to justice and take weapons off the streets.
“Firearms have absolutely no place on our streets and every time one is removed by us, it makes London a safer place for all.”
Pictured: Batchelor left, Harvey right
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