Great Britain

Five years in jail for man caught with zip gun in pocket

A MAN has been jailed for five years for possession of a zip gun.

Shoaib Mahmood, 20, of Beech Terrace, Undercliffe, Bradford, was caught with the improvised firearm in his pocket when the police stopped a car he was travelling in on December 24, 2018.

The case prompted a warning from a senior police officer that people in possession of working guns face lengthy jail sentences whatever the weapon looks like.

Detective Superintendent Carl Galvin, of West Yorkshire Police’s Protective Services Crime Department, said: “This outcome demonstrates that being found in possession of a viable firearm, regardless of its appearance, is likely to result in a substantial prison sentence.

“West Yorkshire Police works with partners under Programme Precision to tackle the illegal use of firearms so our communities are kept safe.”

Mahmood also had cannabis and a cannabis grinder on him when he was searched by the police, Bradford Crown Court heard this week.

He pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to possession of a firearm, namely a zip gun, with a barrel less than 12 inches in length, and possession of cannabis.

But the Crown refused to accept his basis of plea on the gun charge and a trial of the issue was held.

Mahmood at first claimed he had found the weapon in a local park but told the court he was handed it for safekeeping by a friend he declined to name.

He said he was playing football in the park when the friend gave him the “antiquated” weapon to look after, saying it was from Turkey.

Mahmood said he thought it was an old BB gun.

He was not given any ammunition and told it was not in working order.

His friend said: “Hold on to it for me.

"I’ll get it off you when I get back,” he said.

“It didn’t look like a gun. I didn’t think it capable of anything,” Mahmood told the court.

He said he forgot about the weapon. It remained in his pocket and he did nothing with it.

Three days later, the police stopped a car he had been smoking cannabis in while driving to the moors with friends.

They seized the gun and the cannabis grinder from the pocket of his body warmer.

Mahmood conceded that when the police examined his phone, there were photos of him holding firearms on it.

He said they were taken at a friend’s wedding in Pakistan in 2018.

Judge Jonathan Rose, jailed Mahmood for five years for possession of the zip gun with four months to run concurrently for possession of cannabis.