Telford father-to-be jailed over sawn-off shotgun

A father-to-be from Telford has been jailed for five years after his fingerprints were found on plastic bags that contained a sawn-off shotgun.

Bilal Ahmed, left, and Steven Easthope
Bilal Ahmed, left, and Steven Easthope

Bilal Ahmed, a Dutch national, sat in the dock shaking his head as a jury returned a guilty verdict on himself and his co-accused Steven Easthope.

The 26-year-old, of Saville Close, Wellington, appeared stunned when the verdict was reached after a week-long trial concluded.

The court had previously heard that a shotgun wrapped in plastic bags was found hidden in loft insulation by police searching a house in Telford for drugs.

The firearm was found with shotgun cartridges in a black plastic package when officers raided a house in Chepstow Drive, Leegomery, more than two years ago.

The package remained unopened until a forensic investigator arrived at the scene, Shrewsbury Crown Court was told.

Fingerprints traced to Ahmed and 19-year-old Easthope were found on plastic bags inside the package, while Ahmed’s prints were also found on the loft hatch, the court heard.

Ahmed, 26, and Easthope, of Matlock Avenue, Dawley, had denied possessing a prohibited weapon.

Mr Stephen Cadwaladr, for Ahmed said that his client, who had come to England as a teenager and spoke several languages, was due to become a father in the near future. He had worked as a florist and in factories and had a good character.

Mr Danny Smith, for Easthope said that his client had been in care for much of his life and had had a number of spells in prison.

Judge Robin Onions sentenced Ahmed, who wept as he listened, to five years imprisonment. Easthope, who remained impassive, received three years in a young offenders institute.