Five years in prison for London men caught with First World War pistol in Cambridge

PUBLISHED: 12:54 09 May 2016 | UPDATED: 12:54 09 May 2016

Glory Victor

Glory Victor

Archant

Two London men have been jailed for five years after being caught with a First World War pistol in Cambridge.

Paul LopoPaul Lopo

Glory Victor, 23, and Paul Lopo, 23, were seen acting suspiciously in a white Mercedes car in Market Hill by a CCTV operator in the early hours of October 27 last year.

The operator called police after realising Victor was inspecting a firearm while Lopo sat next to him shining a mobile phone torch.

Victor was arrested by firearms officers but Lopo fled.

A search of the Mercedes uncovered a First World War period, working luger pistol with viable 9mm ammunition. One of the rounds was jammed in the loading mechanism.

The pistol in questionThe pistol in question

In police interview, Victor claimed he found the gun and ammunition on the floor of a local nightclub before taking it to the car for examination.

Then Lopo handed himself in at Parkside Police Station after realising he was being hunted by police. He had been identified by Met police officers from CCTV stills.

They were both charged with possessing a firearm and possessing firearm ammunition.

Victor, of Rainham Road South, Dagenham, pleaded guilty but Lopo, of Comet Close, Newham, London, denied the charges and was found guilty by a jury at Cambridge Crown Court.

The court heard both defendants had previous convictions for similar offences and possession and dealing of drugs.

On Friday (May 6), at Cambridge Crown, Judge Gareth Hawkesworth jailed both men for five years.

In his summing up, Judge Hawkesworth said they had no other reason to bring a gun to Cambridge other than for an unlawful purpose.

He referred to their membership of the London ‘Custom House Gang’, which is involved in the delivery and dealing of class A drugs, and formally commended the CCTV operator who raised the alarm.

Det Sgt Mark Barker said: “This type of offence is thankfully very rare in Cambridge. Both men were well known to the Met Police gangs unit and had conditions of non-association at the time which they were obviously breaching.

“Given the weapon’s age and condition it could well have been used in other organised crime.

“It was excellent work by the CCTV operator, licensing officer, visual evidence unit, Met Gangs unit and Cambridge CID”.

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