21st Feb, 2019

Man who denied knowledge of illegal gun and ammo under his bed at Coventry housing scheme is jailed

A young man who still denies knowing anything about a revolver and ammunition found under his bed at a supported housing project in Coventry has been jailed.

Even though he accepted the gun and cartridges were in his rucksack, Jibril Shaban had pleaded not guilty to possessing a prohibited firearm.

But last month a jury at Warwick Crown Court took just 42 minutes to find him guilty of that offence and three charges of possessing ammunition without a firearms certificate.

Following an adjournment for a pre-sentence report to be prepared on Shaban (22) of The Foyer in Lower Holyhead Road, Coventry, was jailed for five years.

Judge Peter Cooke told him that in law that was the minimum term he could impose for having an illegal firearm.

Prosecutor Stuart Clarkson had told the jury that Shaban had moved into the Foyer, which provides supported accommodation for young people, in November last year.

“The police turned up on the 24th of January and spoke to staff there, asking if they could speak to Mr Shaban.

“They went up to his room, but he was not in, and the officer asked if he could go in in any event, and was allowed in.

“Under the bed he found a rucksack, and in that was another rucksack, and inside that was the gun and ammunition.”

There were three rounds in the chamber of the .22 revolver, and loose in the inner rucksack were two .357 rounds and four .44 cartridges.

Shaban maintained when he was questioned and during the trial that although the rucksacks were his, the first time he saw the gun and ammunition was when they were shown to him by the police.

He claimed he had no idea how they got into his room, and his barrister Ian Speed argued there was no evidence to show he had had any contact with the gun or ammunition.

But Mr Clarkson commented that The Foyer was ‘quite a secure complex,’ with each room having its own pad for which you need a fob to gain entry.

“The prosecution say they were in his room, he is the only person who resided in that room, and they were his rucksacks.

“There was CCTV at the Foyer. It was looked at for two weeks prior to the police going, and no-one was seen going into that room with the exception of the defendant, staff or people going in with the defendant,” the prosecutor added.

At the resumed hearing, the court heard that in the pre-sentence report, Shaban continues to deny having had any knowledge of the gun and the ammunition.

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