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Four jailed over shotgun supply plot
Four men have been given prison sentences totalling 26 years after police foiled a plot to transport a sawn-off shotgun from Bradford to Birmingham to use in a potentially lethal shooting.
The three conspirators at the Bradford end of the crime were each jailed for seven and a half years.
Iflaq Khan, 35, of Baxendall Street, West Bowling; Nadeem Hussain, 32, of Merton Road, Little Horton; and Joseph Stott, 24, of Halton Place, Great Horton, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess a firearm and ammunition with intent to endanger life on July 27 last year.
Umar Hussain, the courier ferrying the weapon to the West Midlands from Bradford, was locked up for three and a half years.
Hussain, 28, of Sandhurst Avenue, Birmingham, admitted conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.
Prosecutor Andrew Kershaw told Bradford Crown Court yesterday the plot was foiled by a police operation involving surveillance, phone evidence and house searches.
It involved an agreement to supply a sawn-off shotgun and three live cartridges to an unknown person in Birmingham to shoot someone.
Mr Kershaw said that Khan, an office worker at Khan Solicitors in Sunbridge Road, was the “contact and organiser” in Bradford.
He enrolled Nadeem Hussain to obtain the weapon and ammunition from Stott, to hand over to Umar Hussain, who was paid £300 by an unknown person to drive from Birmingham to collect the gun and cartridges.
Mr Kershaw said that Khan, who was employed at Khan Solicitors since he was 17, co-ordinated the conspiracy from within and around its offices over a four-hour period on the afternoon of July 27.
Umar Hussain collected the gun from Khan at about 6.30pm after arriving at Ryan Street, West Bowling.
He was stopped by the police in nearby St Stephen’s Road. Seized from the car was a black holdall containing the firearm and three cartridges, a black hooded jacket and other black clothing, £300 in bank notes and a kitchen knife.
The court heard that the firearm was a 12-gauge double barrel double trigger mechanism sawn-off shotgun made in Spain.
A search of Khan’s home uncovered four sets of body armour, 11 high value designer watches and three sets of expensive cufflinks.
Nadeem was found to have a ballistic vest next to the bed at his house.
All three Bradford men were arrested and Stott was released on bail.
On September 26, officers re-arrested Stott and found a machete and a piece of gun barrel at his address.
Mr Kershaw said Khan and Nadeem Hussain had recent previous connections to incidents involving firearms in Bradford.
At 1.43am on July 4, seven bullets were fired into the front door and windows of Nadeem Hussain’s home in Merton Road.
He told the police he did not want any help from them and could sort out the problem himself.
Two days later, at 1.20am, a man called Kamran Burrows was shot in the foot in Ringwood Road, Canterbury, Bradford. Nadeem Hussain arrived at the scene and linked the shooting to the one at his home.
Khan was wearing a ballistic vest under black clothing.
He told officers it was “protection...you never know when you need it.”
Two days later, Khan told an officer in the Homicide and Major Enquiry Team at West Yorkshire Police he had found and removed a tracking device from underneath his black Range Rover.
He said a £30,000 contract on his life had been offered to a “firm” in Manchester.
Mr Kershaw told the court the shotgun was “a working lethal firearm”.
“The intention was to shoot someone with intent to endanger life but we don’t know who or why,” said Mr Kershaw.
Nicholas Neale, Khan’s barrister, handed Judge David Hatton QC references from a Bradford councillor and a partner at Khan Solicitors and a letter from his wife.
Mr Neale said Khan had two children and his imprisonment would have a great impact on his family.
Richard Wright, for Nadeem Hussain, said he was a “facilitator” who was himself the victim of a previous firearms incident. There was no suggestion that he was arming himself to go out and commit offences with guns. He was a target and did not retaliate.
Stephen Uttley, for Stott, said he was a family man with two children. He supplied the firearm to help out friends.
This was the first prison sentence the three men would serve.
Abdul Iqbal, for Umar Hussain, said he was of previous good character and agreed to be courier after he was laid off from his supermarket job.
He had since been threatened by people in the West Midlands worried he might inform the police who hired him.
Sentencing them Judge Hatton said the gun was “a weapon that clearly presented a great source of danger”.
“It had no legitimate purpose and it was for use in crime of a very serious type,” he told them.