A man from Sandridge has been jailed for 10 years for firearms offences after police seized a shotgun from a van in South Oxhey.
In the early hours of the morning on 27 May 2021 (correct), police were called by a resident of a property in Blackford Road, Watford, to report that a van had been abandoned in their driveway. It was reported that two men had been seen exiting the van, and overheard discussing a gun being fired.
Officers attended and identified two men at a nearby property, who were refusing to engage and were giving false details in relation to the registered owner of the van. Both men were arrested on suspicion of taking a vehicle without consent.
The van was seized and searched by officers, who discovered a viable shotgun and several rounds of ammunition. Both men were further arrested on suspicion of possession of a firearm and possession of ammunition.
Robert Dean, aged 35 and from Watford, and Jamie Harrowell, aged 37 and from Sandridge, were both subsequently charged.
Following a trial at St Albans Crown Court, Harrowell was found guilty of possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life, possessing ammunition with intent to endanger life, possessing a prohibited firearm, possessing ammunition without a firearm certificate and possessing a firearm when prohibited.
Dean was found guilty of possessing a prohibited firearm and possessing ammunition without a firearm certificate.
Both were sentenced on Tuesday 7 March. Harrowell was sentenced 10 years in prison, and a further five years on licence, and Dean was given a 24 month sentence suspended for 18 months, having been on remand since his conviction date of 22 December 2022.
Detective Constable Rob King, who led the investigation, said: “Harrowell had an extensive criminal history with a number of serious offences, which is reflected in his sentence. I hope he uses his time in prison to reflect on his choices, and that this sentence sends a strong message to those involved in firearms criminality. Harrowell is now facing a lengthy time behind bars and the same fate awaits anyone involved in this abhorrent criminal activity.”
He added: “Unlawful possession of a firearm will always be treated very seriously, given the danger to the public, particularly so when firearms are discharged in a public place. Thankfully, while this gun was shot inside the vehicle, no one was injured.
“However this kind of activity will not be tolerated and we will do all we can to bring offenders to justice. The sentence imposed highlights that the court reflected the seriousness of the offending.
“The seizure and destruction of this gun mean that very serious harm has now been prevented and I would like to thank the member of public for calling in their suspicions. A lot of our best results come from the public calling in their suspicions and so I encourage you, whenever something doesn’t seem right to get in touch. It’s thanks to you that we can get these results.”
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