Drug dealer jailed for seven years over sawn-off shotgun found at house in Leeds

Gareth Hunt.
Gareth Hunt.

POLICE found a sawn-off shot gun, ammunition and more than £8,000 of drugs money hidden in a safe when they raided a home in Leeds, a court heard.

Gareth Hunt, 35, was jailed for seven years over the discovery at the property on Old Run View, Belle Isle, on September 16 last year.

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Leeds Crown Court heard officers executed a warrant at the house and found the deadly weapon hidden under a sofa.

Shotgun cartridges were found hidden inside a first aid box.

Anthony Moore, prosecuting, said £8,200 was found in a safe along with a small amount of drugs in a plastic box.

Hunt was not at the property at the time but officers found mail which was addressed to him.

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Another man who was in the house was arrested. Mobile phones seized from him linked Hunt to the possession of the gun.

Hunt’s DNA was discovered to be on the weapon and the cartridges.

Hunt was arrest 11 days later hiding in a caravan in Skegness.

Mr Moore said Hunt had also driven a van dangerously as he tried to get away from police officers in Featherstone in July 2016.

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In a further offence, in September 2015, he was arrested for driving while disqualified.

Hunt, of Duckworth Lane, Bradford, pleaded guilty to possession of a prohibited weapon and ammunition, possession of criminal property, dangerous driving and driving while disqualified.

James Lake, prosecuting, said Hunt accepted that the cash seized by the police was the proceeds of drugs dealing.

Mr Lake said Hunt had been looking after the weapon for other criminals who he was too afraid to identify.

Detective Inspector Anne Banks, of Leeds District Serious Organised Crime Unit, said: “Although Hunt was not charged with any drugs offences, the circumstances in which the shotgun and ammunition and a large amount of cash were found clearly suggested that he was someone involved in the organised supply of Class A drugs.

“Weapons such as these in the hands of criminals have only one deadly purpose and they have absolutely no place in our communities.

“The significant sentence that Hunt has received should serve as a stark warning to others of the serious penalties they can expect for firearms offences. We hope it will also provide some reassurance to people to know that he has been brought to justice and this shotgun has been taken off the streets.

“We will continue to gather intelligence and target anyone involved in the possession or use of firearms and we encourage people to keep passing information to us, anonymously through Crimestoppers if they need to.”

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