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Sunday, 21 February 2010

Marcus Baily with a Mac-10

11:23 |

jailing Tobias Grant for 14 years and Tacumba Wheeler for eight, Judge Trevor Faber described it as a “wicked” weapon capable of causing mayhem and death.He told the defendants: “The public in the city of Birmingham and in particular those who live in Aston, Handsworth and Lozells, have the most grave concerns about the growth in the last few years of gun crime in those areas.“We all know of the tragic circumstances that have arisen in relation to those sorts of crimes in recent years.“You must understand substantial sentences of custody will follow, not only to punish you for your involvement with this wicked weapon and ammunition but to deter others.”Grant, 27, of Linwood Road, Handsworth, had been convicted following a trial in December last year, of possessing the gun with intent to endanger life while Wheeler, 20, of Hunters Road, Lozells, was found guilty of possessing a prohibited firearm.The gun was similar to the one used to kill innocent teenage party-goers Letisha Shakespeare and Charlene Ellis.Both men were also convicted of possessing expanding ammunition and ammunition without a certificate. Birmingham Crown Court heard that on December 30, 2008, police received reports of a disturbance going on in Burlington Street, Aston.When officers arrived a number of people fled from the scene while others were seen milling around.One of those was Wheeler, who had previously driven Grant to the scene in a car that had been loaned to him.When police looked into the vehicle they saw the machine pistol lying in the footwell. It was examined and had a magazine loaded with two different types of bullets.Forensic examination revealed Grant’s fingerprints on the magazine as well as a bag which it had been kept in while police also recovered a hat with his DNA.The incident happened just days before the sixth anniversary of the murders of New Year partygoers Letisha Shakespeare, aged 17, and 18-year-old Charlene Ellis and less than a mile from where they were killed.Robert Rinder, for Grant, said tests had shown that the gun was in poor working order, could only discharge one bullet at a time and was not capable of firing as an automatic weapon.He said that the machine gun had not been used during the incident.Mr Rinder said Grant was a family man with two children and that he had worked for community charities that had sought to address this kind of offending.Kirstie Montgomery, for Wheeler, said he had been aware of what had been brought into his car and had “tolerated” its presence.

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