Two brothers who took the law into their own hands to protect their family with firearms during a feud have been jailed for more than 20 years.

Zeeshan Khan, 33, a manager at the family-run Saffron Desi restaurant in Leeds Road, Bradford, and David Pemberton, 37, were imprisoned for 12 years and three months, and ten years and 11 months, respectively, at Leeds Crown Court yesterday after pleading guilty to conspiracy to possess firearms and ammunition with intent to endanger life.

Armed police seized a Mac 10 sub machine gun, a pump action shotgun, and a sniper’s rifle, along with 75 rounds of live ammunition, after stopping a van being driven into Bradford in January last year.

Judge Guy Kearl QC said Khan and Pemberton took the law into their own hands in one of the most serious ways imaginable. He said: “Nothing can justify people arming themselves in the manner in which they did in this case.

“Time and again, courts have emphasised the gravity of firearms offences. There is a need to protect the public from firearms, and for deterrent and punitive sentences for offences of this nature.

“Innocent people face great danger from the reckless discharge of weapons such as these, particularly when in the hands of desperate and untrained people.

“Guns kill, maim, terrorise and intimidate.”

The Khan family had been in dispute with brothers Arfan and Kamran Ijaz and Mohammed Nisar Khan, known as Meggy. There had been a number of incidents, including alleged assaults on both sides and the smashing of windows at the restaurant on two occasions.

The judge added: “I accept that the Khan family was being pressurised by Mohammed Nisar Khan, together with his associates, and that Zeeshan Khan and David Pemberton felt they and their family were at risk of significant violence.”

Zeeshan Khan contacted a friend in Liverpool, Christopher Chung, who facilitated the acquisition of the weapons from fellow Liverpudlian Robert Parran, who looked after an arsenal at his home.

Pemberton travelled to Liverpool to supervise the deal while businessman Jason Crompton, 39, of Rookes Avenue, Wibsey, was paid to drive to Liverpool to pick up the illegal cargo.

Crompton admitted possessing a prohibited weapon and possessing a firearm without a certificate and was jailed for five years. Chung and Parran both pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charges. Chung was jailed for ten and a half years. Parran, who is already serving 15 and a half years for firearms offences, was given a further two years.

Judge Kearl said: “These weapons were, no doubt, to be used upon Mohammed Nisar Khan, and/or his associates, should the need arise, no doubt to lethal effect.”