A convicted criminal from Leeds who tried to sell a pistol and ammunition to a man he met in prison was foiled after the pair’s plans were overheard.
Yamin Hussain arranged to sell a 9mm pistol and ammunition for £650 to James Clague, a fellow inmate who police said was going to use the gun to “seek revenge against others he believed had wronged him”.
Hussain, 23, of Camberley Street, Beeston, arranged for Clague to collect the gun from a third party in Leeds when he was released from HMP Wealstun near Wetherby.
But their plans were overheard, police say, and reported to the prison governor, stopping Hussain from making the final arrangements.
As a result Clague, 28, from Seaton in Cumbria, travelled down to Leeds but was unable to buy the gun.
He returned to Cumbria on the train and was intercepted by armed Cumbria police officers at Carlisle station before being arrested.
The two men were sentenced to 11 years each today at Carlisle Crown Court after admitting conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent to endanger life. Hussain was already serving a prison sentence for robbery with an imitation firearm.
Detective Inspector Ian Harwood of Cumbria Police, who led the investigation, said: “James Clague posed a serious threat to the lives of a number of individuals in West Cumbria.
“Not only that, he planned to do this by arranging with fellow prison inmate, Yamin Hussain, to buy a handgun when released from prison with the full intention of endangering the lives of others. This was a calculated plan to seek revenge against others he believed had wronged him.
“I wish to reassure the community that serious threats to life, as in this case, are very rare, however when encountered Cumbria Constabulary will utilise all powers and resources necessary to safely deal with the threat and protect individuals and the community.
“I wish to pay tribute to the bravery of witnesses in this case who were prepared to take the stand, give evidence and stand up to these thugs. Clearly their contribution has been massive and led to today’s result.
“The sentence today reflects the seriousness of the offending in this case and sends out a very clear message that this sort of behaviour will just not be tolerated in our community.”