A woman who bought bullets for a revolver on the orders of her gangster boyfriend has been jailed.
Kaphia Dennis was caught after police bugged her boyfriend Simon Johnson’s car and they were recorded discussing buying deadly ammunition.
“Gangsters and criminals often use women to store their weapons and fetch and carry ammunition for them. You were willing to be used.”The Recorder of Leeds, Judge Peter Collier, QC
Johnson and a Leeds gangster are currently serving sentences totalling 27 years over a plot to shoot a rival and for their involvement in large-scale drug dealing.
Leeds Crown Court heard Dennis was recorded talking with Johnson in his Audi about collecting bullets from the Chapeltown area of the city.
Dennis was also recorded saying that she would not touch bullets without wearing gloves and asked to be paid for her involvement.
She was arrested in January last year as part of a police operation Her then home on Cliff Terrace, Woodhouse, was searched and officers found bullets for a revolver belonging to Johnson.
Dennis, of Ganton Close, Woodhouse, pleaded guilty to possession of ammunition without a licence. She was sent to prison for 12 months.
Robin Frieze, mitigating, said Dennis had no other convictions and was of previous good character.
The Recorder of Leeds, Judge Peter Collier, QC, said: “Any involvement in firearms is a very serious offence indeed.
“Gangsters and criminals often use women to store their weapons and fetch and carry ammunition for them. You were willing to be used.
“You knew something of the seriousness of this case.”
The YEP reported last November how Johnson, 29, and Mark Ziemiecki, 32, were jailed over the shooting plot.
Ziemiecki fired shots which smashed the windscreen and went through the boot of a car driven by Daniel Inamder in the Farnley area of Leeds.
Moments before the shooting, Ziemiecki had received a text message from Johnson which read ‘KLKLKL’.
Inamder escaped uninjured and gave a running account of the incident during a 999 call after the shots were fired.
The pair were brought to justice after police were able to bug Johnson’s car and recorded him talking about the shooting as well as drug dealing activities.
Bullets were fired from a self loading pistol made in the former Soviet Union.
The weapon was dumped in Meanwood Park but found by a council gardener, still loaded with ammunition.
Ziemiecki’s finger print was found on a plastic bag which the gun was wrapped in.
Johnson was linked to the shooting, which took place on December 20, 2012, after police later bugged his car and recorded conversations in which he spoke about the incident.
The secret listening device also picked up a discussion about him possessing a Baretta pistol which had been used in several shootings in the Chapeltown area of the city.
The Baretta and ammunition was recovered by police in Bradford in July 2013.
Voice analysts were able to confirm Johnson was the person speaking in the car.
Officers heard around 1600 hours of conversations involving Johnson relating to drug dealing.
The background to the shooting may have been because Mr Inamder beat up Johnson’s brother.
Johnson was recorded during a conversation in which he talked about almost shooting his own finger off with the Baretta.
He was heard to say: “I pressed it and boom - and the bullet shot through the bed.”
Johnson was also heard making reference to a shooting in Woodhouse Park in August 2012, where a pistol was discharged at Inamder on a separate occasion.
Ziemiecki and Johnson also admitted drug offences over their involvement with large scale drug supply in West Yorkshire and the north east.
Ziemiecki, of Christopher Road, Meanwood, pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and two offences of conspiracy to supply a class A drug. He was jailed for 14 years
Johnson, of Ganton Close, Chapeltown, pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life, possession of a prohibited weapon and conspiracy to supply a class A drug. He was jailed for 13 years.
Detective Chief Inspector Warren Stevenson, of West Yorkshire Police Protective Services (Crime), said: “The criminal use of firearms always presents a threat to the wider community and we will use every available tactic to target those who are involved and remove their guns from the streets. The weapons recovered in this case would clearly have been recirculated for use in other crimes.
“These men were brought to justice as a result of a lengthy and painstaking investigation by specialist detectives which produced the evidence that has seen them sent to jail. We hope it will provide some reassurance to our communities to know they are much safer without these men among them.”