Mum allowed armed robber to hide gun at her home in Leeds

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A MUM who allowed a violent armed robber to hide a sawn-off shotgun in her home has been jailed.

Christina O’Neill was handed a sentence of three years and four months after she allowed Danite Jeffers to keep the weapon at her home in Chapeltown Leeds.

Jeffers, 36, received a 20-year sentence in January this year for a series of terrifying attacks in the city.

One robbery involved Jeffers following a man into his own home and hit him in the face with a gun before robbing him of his mobile phone.

Jeffers was caught thanks to mobile phone technology which led officers to the home he was sharing with Christina O’Neill in September last year. Police searched the property and found the weapon and ammunition hidden in a bedroom. Felicity Davis, mitigating, said the mum-of-two was interviewed and claimed to have no knowledge that the weapon was in her own.

She later said to officers: “I’ve got to tell the truth.” O’Neill then said Jeffers had told her about the gun but had said it was an antique. She said Jeffers had claimed he wanted to sell it but had used it during a robbery. She pleaded guilty to possession of a prohibited firearm and ammunition. Catherine Silverton, mitigating, urged judge Tom Bayliss, QC, not to take an “exceptional course” by not imposing a minimum sentence of five-years imprisonment which the offence usually carries.

She said: “She did know she was doing wrong but she did not know she was doing wrong to the extent that she was.”

Ms Silverton said Jeffers was a friend of O’Neill’s flatmate and had only been living at the property for a few days. Judge Bayliss told O’Neill she must face a significant jail term because the offences were so serious but agreed to reduce the sentence. He said: “The gun was in your home for only a short period of time. I accept that you thought that the gun did not work. You had no intention, nor did you use the gun for anything unlawful.”

Tony Burdin, chief executive of Sheffield Mutual Friendly Society

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