Woman jailed for firearms possession

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Ria Clark.
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A woman who helped her boyfriend hide a gun has been jailed for two years.

Ria Clark, 21, from Butley Road, Luton, was sentenced at Luton Crown Court on Friday, March 13, 2020, after pleading guilty to possession of a prohibited weapon and ammunition. 

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She was arrested in March last year as part of a crackdown on gun crime by officers from the Eastern Regional Special Operations Unit (ERSOU) and Bedfordshire Police.

During a subsequent search of Clark’s house, officers found a sawn-off shotgun behind the headboard of her bed, which had a cartridge in the breach ready to be fired. A further cartridge and a live 9mm bullet were found in her chest of drawers. 

Clark had been keeping the gun behind the headboard on behalf of her partner, Victor Owoyinfa, 22, from Southampton Gardens, Luton, who was sentenced to five years in jail last year for possession of a prohibited weapon and ammunition and possession of a bladed article. 

Detective Inspector Dave Skarratts, from ERSOU, said: “Although Clark did not own the gun, she was still complicit in her boyfriend’s criminality by allowing him to store it in her home. The loyalty you may feel towards your partner is not worth the risk of a criminal record, let alone a lengthy spell behind bars, and we hope this sends a message to others who may be tempted to store a weapon for their partner.

“Gun crime has the potential to have a devastating impact on the communities in Bedfordshire. This is why we are working closely with Bedfordshire Police’s Boson team to remove illegal weapons such as this one from circulation, and put dangerous offenders behind bars.”

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