Homemade shotgun found at Leeds drug dealer's home after he threatened mum with fake handgun

Drug dealer Anthony Cleary was jailed for seven years and three months after police found home homemade shotgun at house in Seacroft.Drug dealer Anthony Cleary was jailed for seven years and three months after police found home homemade shotgun at house in Seacroft.
Drug dealer Anthony Cleary was jailed for seven years and three months after police found home homemade shotgun at house in Seacroft. | other
Police found a loaded homemade shotgun when they raided a drug dealer's home after he threatened a woman with an imitation firearm.

Anthony Cleary was locked up for seven years and three months over the discovery of the deadly weapon at the house in Seacroft.

Leeds Crown Court heard armed police went to Cleary's address after he threatened a woman with a fake handgun on the doorstep of her home in front of her six-year-old daughter.

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The incident happened on April 21 this year when the woman returned home to find that her car had been "smashed up".

Police carried out armed raid in April after Cleary threatened woman with a fake handgun in front of her daughter.Police carried out armed raid in April after Cleary threatened woman with a fake handgun in front of her daughter.
Police carried out armed raid in April after Cleary threatened woman with a fake handgun in front of her daughter. | other

The woman went inside to ask her son what had happened to the vehicle and she heard a bang on her front door.

She answered the door to find Cleary standing there pointing the weapon in her face.

The woman closed the door and called police.

Kirsten Mercer, prosecuting, said the woman told police she believed the incident had been intended as a threat.

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Police carried out armed raid in street in Seacroft.Police carried out armed raid in street in Seacroft.
Police carried out armed raid in street in Seacroft. | jpimedia

Armed officers carried out a raid at a house on Redmire Drive two days later.Cleary was at the address along with two women and a child.

Miss Mercer said the defendant refused to leave the address.

Police discharged CS gas into the property before entering.

Cleary was found hiding upstairs inside some insulation.

Leeds Crown CourtLeeds Crown Court
Leeds Crown Court | jpimedia

He tried to bite an officer as he was arrested.

The house was searched and officers found a homemade 12 gauge 'slam gun' which contained a cartridge.

The weapon contained Cleary's DNA.

It was later tested and found to be capable of firing ammunition.

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Four further shotgun cartridges were found behind a bedroom table.

Two BB guns were also found which matched the description of the weapon used to threaten the woman two days earlier.

Heroin and crack cocaine worth £300 were found in his jacket pocket.

Cleary's mobile phone was analysed and found to contain incriminating text messages advertising the sale of heroin and crack cocaine.

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Messages were also found relating to a dispute linked to the threat made to the woman.

Cleary initially denied any offending when he was interviewed.

He pleaded guilty to possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, possession of a prohibited firearm and two offences of possession of a Class A drug with intent to supply.

Cleary is currently being held in Hull prison after being jailed for five years earlier this year for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and money laundering.

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Miss Mercer read a victim statement to the court on behalf of the woman who described how she had felt like a "nervous wreck" since the incident.

Jeremy Barton, mitigating, said Cleary pleaded guilty to the offences at an early stage.

He described his client as an "entrenched drug user" who sold heroin and crack cocaine to fund his own habit.

Mr Barton said the offences were linked to his involvement in the illegal drugs trade.

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Judge Rodney Jameson, QC, ordered that Cleary's sentence be consecutive to the five-year sentence he is currently serving.

Cleary, who appeared in court via a video link, wept as the sentence was imposed.

After the case, Detective Inspector Al Burns, of Leeds District CID, said: “As someone involved in the supply of Class A drugs, Cleary put a woman in genuine fear by threatening her at gunpoint with what appeared to be a real firearm.

“A viable firearm was also discovered at the address where he was found hiding during an arrest operation by armed officers.

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“This case again highlights the intrinsic link between drug dealing and gun crime, which remains relatively rare in Leeds but will always be treated very seriously.

“We hope the significant sentence he has received will serve as a warning to others and help to reassure the community about our ongoing work to tackle these issues.”