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Man jailed after police seize homemade firearm from house in Salford

A man has been sentenced to five years imprisonment after police seized a homemade firearm, ammunition and other weapons from an address in the Little Hulton area of Salford in June 2019.

Lewis Pearson (24/11/1999), of Hope Hey Lane, Little Hulton, was ordered to serve a five year custodial sentence after pleading guilty at Manchester Crown Court today (Tuesday 10 March 2020) to possession of a section 5 firearm .

At around 7.45am on Tuesday 18 June 2019, officers from Operation Arctic executed a firearms warrant at Pearson’s home address on Hope Hey Lane, Little Hulton, where they discovered a homemade firearm, compatible ammunition, and a machete along with numerous knives and balaclavas.

The court heard that upon forensic analysis, the firearm seized was declared as a viable homemade shotgun and constituted as a prohibited weapon under Section 5(1) of the Firearms Act 1968.

Further analysis established that the cartridge secured by police was a shotgun cartridge and is classed as ammunition defined in Section 57(2) of the Firearms Act 1968.

Pearson was identified as the named tenant of the address at the time of the weapons being seized and was later arrested in September 2019 on suspicion of possession of a section 5 firearm.

During interview with detectives, Pearson refused to offer any explanation as to why the items were in his property or if the items were his or someone else’s.

Pearson was later charged and pleaded guilty at Manchester Crown Court before being sentenced to five years imprisonment.

Superintendent Andrew Sidebotham, from GMP’s Salford division, said: “Today’s verdict demonstrates the hard work that we are doing on a daily basis to try and ensure that the streets in our communities are free from firearms and weapons that have the potential to cause significant harm. I stress that the possession of such weapons are not acceptable and we will not stop our pursuit of those who think otherwise while they still operate.”

“As part of our ongoing Operation Naseby, Greater Manchester Police continues to work hard with the support of our partners and the public to ensure that Salford is a safe place to live and work and while we understand the level of concern due to recent events in the area, we are continuing to demonstrate our commitment to ensuring we tackle this.

“We continue to appeal for information from the public and I stress the importance of the public contacting police with any details they may have and understand that it will be treated with the strictest confidence.

“Details can always be passed anonymously through the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Our continuous work with the public will ultimately ensure we make Salford the place we all want it to be.”