A WINCHESTER shotgun was stolen in a raid on premises known to have a gun cabinet.
Jammaine Cunningham, 26, accepted he carried out the offence in Linthwaite after being put under pressure because of drug debts, but later helped in the recovery of the weapon, Adrian Strong representing him told Leeds Crown Court yesterday.
“It was a planned burglary with the intent of taking that shotgun, but when he got it he realised what the implications of handing over a shotgun to a criminal organisation really were.”
Cunningham, of Church View House, Paddock, hid the gun and later directed police to where it was so it could be recovered.
Mr Strong said Cunningham had started using drugs to self-medicate pain after an accident. He was living a transient lifestyle and was not able to claim benefits. He started offending to fund himself and that had “led him into the company of those perhaps more sophisticated criminals than he is”.
He had got into debt for his drugs, had been glassed over those debts and had then received threats about his family. It was then that he went on to commit the burglary.
Adam Birkby, prosecuting, said the gun cupboard was hidden in a pantry and the owner believed he had told only close friends and family, though he might have mentioned it while drinking in a pub.
In addition to the shotgun worth £800, an air rifle and silencer were also stolen along with a jar of coins, some money and briefcases.
At the time Cunningham was on bail for violent offences on October 28 last year. On that occasion he was involved in a dispute over a fare with a taxi driver, Mohammed Saddiq.
Mr Saddiq drove to the bus station in Huddersfield for some help in the altercation and Harbhajan Singh, who went to his aid, was punched in the face by Cunningham, breaking his dentures and causing a laceration, which needed 12 stitches. Mr Saddiq was knocked to the floor and kicked.
Cunningham was jailed for 27 months for burglary, assault and common assault.
Recorder Michael Smith said: “On the face of it I thought it was very, very serious because a gun had gone missing, particularly a shotgun, but I am able to pull back from passing a longer sentence.
“Because of good sense the gun has been recovered and was not required by you to arm yourself to carry out further crimes”.