"Misguided loyalty" of various girlfriends facing jail, after storing lover's gun
PUBLISHED: 11:52 05 February 2014 | UPDATED: 11:59 05 February 2014
Police have warned women about the "misguided loyalty" in storing their boyfriends' guns, after a man caught in bed with someone he had just met was found guilty of hiding guns in various girlfriends' homes - including one in Hackney.
Sunny Taiwo and one of his girlfriends, Shereen Lawrence – who stored a double-barrelled sawn off shotgun in her bedroom for him – were convicted at Inner London Crown Court yesterday, following a month-long trial.
Another of his girlfriends, 26-year old Leanne Anderson, pleaded guilty last year to possession of a firearm and ammunition after officers found a 9mm Baikal self loading pistol with a silencer and seven rounds of 9mm ammunition in the kitchen bin of her home in Glenarm Road, Lower Clapton, on January 7 2013.
She is currently serving a five year custodial sentence.
Three months after she was arrested, officers found Sunny Taiwo and a woman who he had only recently met during an early morning raid, and a search of the property uncovered a loaded 8mm Rohm RG9 self loading pistol under the bed they were lying on.
Taiwo and the woman were both arrested but the woman was later released when it became apparent she was unaware of his criminality, and she provided key prosecution evidence.
In June Taiwo was further charged with the possession of the firearms and ammunition found at the home addresses of Lawrence, Anderson and another address in Forest Gate.
Det Insp Steve Meechan, from the Trident Gang Crime Command which is charged with fighting gun crime, said: “Taiwo wrongly believed that by using his female companions to store various firearms he could evade capture, however police were able to connect him to all four firearms.
“By putting their trust in him, two women have now been convicted of serious offences and face lengthy prison sentences.
“These convictions should act both as a deterrent to those involved in gun crime but also to the girlfriends and wives of men who are involved in the circulation of firearms.
“Through misguided loyalty, not only are you compromising your safety, placing yourself and your family at risk, but you could also face a custodial sentence.
Taiwo, 34, of Holt Road, Beckton was found guilty of four counts of possession of a prohibited firearm, one count of possession of a firearm without a firearm certificate, three counts of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and two counts of possession ammunition without a firearm certificate.
Shereen Lawrence, 32, of Hillcrest Road, Walthamstow, was found guilty of one count of possession of a prohibited firearm.
They will be sentenced on March 3.
The girlfriend who lived at the address in Forest Gate was found not guilty.