Shifnal gang member jailed after foot-long machete found
A Shropshire man who was caught with a foot-long machete on his way to a suspected gang attack has been locked up.
Shamar Fairclough, 24, was sentenced to nine months in prison on Wednesday after he and a "prominent gang member" from Wolverhampton were caught with the knife in February.
Fairclough, from Coppice Green Lane, Shifnal, initially fled after the Ford Mondeo he and Kai Bell were in was stopped in Heath Town, Wolverhampton.
But police managed to track him down and now both men have been jailed.
Bell, 19, had a balaclava on his head and a foot-long Gurkha machete was found in the foot well, while a dagger was found discarded near the car.
According to police, Bell is a "prominent gang member" who uses the street name 'Muller', has previous convictions for possessing a Samurai sword and features in drill music videos where he makes veiled threats to rivals.
Meanwhile back in 2015 Fairclough was bound over for 12 months after being involved in violence in Wolverhampton where armed teenagers fought a running battle through the city centre.
On Wednesday at Wolverhampton Crown Court, both Bell and Fairclough were found found guilty of possessing a bladed article.
Bell was jailed for 15 months and given an additional three months for breaching a community order.
Fairclough was jailed for nine months.
Bell, of Hopyard Gardens, Bilston, was also handed a five-year Criminal Behaviour Order banning him from:
- Meeting in public with any of 14 named associates
- Possessing more than one mobile phone
- Inciting violence through online videos
- Visiting parts of Wolverhampton
West Midlands Police Sergeant Dave Stanley, from the Wolverhampton Gangs Unit, said: “We strongly suspect Bell was on the way to commit a serious, violent offence: we found two lethal weapons and the balaclava was on the top of his head ready to be pulled down.
“It was a great spot by the officers that day and they may well have saved someone’s life or at the very least prevented a very serious injury.
“Bell is only 19 years old but seems increasingly prepared to arm himself with weapons.
"He has a previous conviction from last year of possessing a Samurai sword and there have been several tit-for-tat incidents between gangs in the city.
“This was not the case of a youth carrying a knife. This is an organised criminal carrying a weapon with the intention to use it.
“Bell had been arrested several times but, to date, we have not had enough evidence to put him behind bars.
"He’s now been jailed for 18 months and can expect to spend much of his adult life in prison unless he turns his back on gang activity.”
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