Hackney youth worker kept secret stash of deadly weapons, ammunition and drugs
PUBLISHED: 17:14 16 June 2014 | UPDATED: 12:57 17 June 2014
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A youth worker from Hackney who kept a secret stash of deadly weapons, ammunition and drugs for a local gang was jailed for six years.
Emanuel Ijelu, 22, kept a 12-Bore Beretta 682 Gold E shotgun under his bed and an “ap and ball”revolver on top of his cupboard.
He also stored ammo cartridges in shoes and bags at the end of the garden at his family’s home in Oswald Mead, Homerton, as well as 12 grams of diamorphine.
When police raided his home last May and found the weapons, Ijelu claimed he did not know how they got there.
He later admitted that through his community work he encountered local gang members who had asked him to look after their weapons.
Initally Ijelu, studying IT and business management at Hertfordshire University, turned them down but then succumbed after receiving “vague threats”.
Judge Louise Kamill, sentencing at Snaresbrook Crown Court last Monday, said: “Everyone speaks highly of your ability as a youth worker and your strength of character. What you said at the time and maintained for some period was that you did not know anything about it.”
She continued: “Lack of knowledge was your defence but only on the day of trial did you plead guilty and your basis was that you were in possession but you were holding the items for local gang members.
“You were clearly not a willing participant and you said there were vague threats and you succumbed to those threats – you were not paid, but afraid.
“I find it very difficult to find any exceptional circumstances as you waited an entire year before finally accepting responsibility for your actions.”
Ijelu, who did not work for Hackney Council, pleaded guilty to possession of a prohibited firearm, five counts of possession of ammunition without a certificate and two counts of possession of Class A and B drugs.