A young man who was caught wearing a stocking mask and with a revolver in a bag must have known the gun was to be used ‘for some criminal purpose,’ a judge has observed.
Fletcher Allinson had pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to possessing an imitation firearm, a BBM Olympic blank-firing pistol, in a public place.
Allinson, 19, of Penbury Road, Rugby, was sentenced to five months detention by Recorder Adrian Redgrave QC.
Prosecutor Neil Bannister said that on October 3 last year the police were called to the Cambridge Street area at 8.50pm because of a report of two men trying to gain access to a workshop.
When officers arrived they noticed two young men, one of whom seemed to be wearing similar clothing to the suspects.
One of them was Allinson who was holding a black bag which made a loud clang when he dropped it.
The bag was recovered, and in it the officers found the Italian-made blank-firing revolver, which had a blocked barrel making it incapable of firing live ammunition. The gun had a 6mm blank cartridge in it.
When he was questioned Allinson said he had been stopped by a man he knew who had asked him to collect something and take it to somewhere near the railway bridge, and that he would be battered if he did not do so.
He said he did as he was asked, although at first he did not know what he was to transport.
When he was handed the gun he took it out of its plastic wrapped and put it in his pocket before, instead of going straight to the bridge, he took it to a relative of the friend who was with him at the time.
Allinson said that while he was there he took some stockings to wear over his head because he did not want his features to be seen, and also took a handbag in which to carry the gun.
He asked his friend, who had also been arrested, to go with him when he left to deliver the gun, and his friend took a baseball bat along with him, which he dropped when they saw the police.
Allinson insisted he had nothing to do with trying to break into the shed – which Mr Bannister said was accepted by the prosecution.
Nick Devine, defending, said: “He accepts he knew he was in possession of a firearm, and the person who asked him to transport it was someone he knew from the drugs world.” He added Allinson felt remorse.
Recorder Redgrave commented: “He must have known the person he said he was involved with proposed some unlawful use to which the gun would be put.”
Jailing Allinson, Recorder Redgrave told him: “You must have realised that that realistic-looking gun, in those circumstances, was destined for some criminal purpose.”