Police today warned gun crime will not be tolerated after two Doncaster men were jailed for six years each for possessing a pistol.
The sentences was handed out after Adrian Desmond, aged 25, and Simon Cross, 32, were also caught with four lethal ‘expanding’ bullets in December last year. The pair were at the home of another man when the gun was fired, damaging a sofa and a table.
Neighbours raised the alarm and police raided the premises.
There was no suggestion the weapon had been used for crime – but police today warned the size of the sentences reflected the seriousness of the offence.
A South Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “The sentences handed down to Desmond and Cross reflect the severity of their crimes. I hope this sends out a clear message – South Yorkshire Police will not tolerate any form of gun crime and work hard to bring any offenders to justice.”
Desmond and Cross both admitted possessing the firearm when they appeared at Sheffield Crown Court,.
His Hon Judge Lawler QC said: “It was no doubt frightening to those who were there. It was also fired outside in the garden. It’s not clear who discharged the gun and all the submissions are that you were in joint possession. It wasn’t fired in public but it was reckless behaviour in the extreme.
“The police attended and they later recovered a quantity of ammunition including four of those deadly, expanding cartridges.”
Sentencing Desmond, of Chequer Avenue, Hyde Park, and Cross, of St James Gardens, Balby, Judge Lawler said it was a very serious matter.
He added: “You, Desmond, are 25. You have a long history of offending although none for robbery or violence. You received a suspended sentence at Doncaster Crown Court in November 2011 for possessing a weapon, which was a CS gas canister.
“Cross, you are 32. You have a somewhat lesser record but you have been to court although you haven’t been to custody, which I note. I accept in the circumstances that I have read and heard about that both of you had no intention of using the gun for any criminal purpose or to cause injury.”
The pair both pleaded guilty and were sentenced to six years in prison for the possession of a firearm.
They were also given an additional 18 month sentence, to run consecutively, for a separate charge of robbery.
Cross and Desmond had frogmarched a ‘vulnerable’ man to a cashpoint and demanded he withdraw £220.
“It’s clear and conceded that he was a vulnerable individual and it was an unpleasant matter,” said Judge Lawler.
“These matters are so serious that only a custodial sentence is appropriate.”