Men jailed after sniper rifle found in back of minicab in South Croydon
FIVE men have been jailed after a sniper rifle was found in the boot of a minicab in South Croydon.
Tyron Harding, 45, sold the .22 bolt-action rifle and hollow-point ammunition - which the Metropolitan Police Service described as being designed to cause maximum injury - to his fellow defendants on November 1 last year.
Armed police officers stopped Loyan Osman, 25, soon afterwards as he travelled along Brighton Road, South Croydon, in a minicab. In his possession he had 57 rounds of ammunition.
When officers searched the boot of the vehicle they found the rifle with a sniper scope and silencer attached. It was loaded with a bullet in the breach and more in a magazine.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Osman, Anthony Hosey, 28, Khadar Mire, 25, and Nathaniel Tracey, 27, had been watched by officers as they travelled from Lambeth in Mire's BMW to buy the weapon and ammunition from Harding.
As Osman travelled back to Lambeth in the minicab his colleagues followed in the BMW.
Officers arrested Osman after stopping the cab and subsequently detained Hosey, More and Tracey following further investigation.
On December 12, officers searched Harding's girlfriend's house in Huddlestone Crescent, Merstham, which was close to the location where the weapon was purchased.
In the loft they found another .22 bolt-action rifle with a telescopic sight and silencer. Three boxes of hollow-point ammunition, containing 62 rounds, were also recovered. Harding was arrested as he returned home.
Detective Sergeant Phil Holt, of the Met's Trident Gang Crime Command, said: "These men were found in possession of the kind of lethal weaponry that is typically associated with the most dangerous of criminals.
"Such items are owned solely by those intent on causing serious harm to their planned target or targets, and our officers deserve huge credit for this intervention which followed a skilled and painstaking investigation.
"We can only speculate about the intended recipient of the second rifle found at Harding's home. However it is clear that London is far safer with these individuals and weapons off the streets."
Harding of Phipps Bridge Road, Mitcham, was charged with possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and also possession of a separate firearm connected to the operation.
He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 11 years in prison last Friday (October 5).
Loyan Osman, of Anchor Street, Sydenham, denied possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life but was convicted following a trial. He was sentenced to 14 years.
The rest of the men pleaded not guilty to possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life but were convicted on June 22 at Woolwich Crown Court.
Anthony Hosey of Fiveways Road, Stockwell, was sentenced to 16 years.
Khadar Mire of Bell Green Lane, Sydenham, was sentenced to 16 years.
Nathaniel Tracey of Akerman Road, Brixton was sentenced to 15 years.