Man jailed for seven years after shotgun and drugs found in car

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A man who was caught with a shotgun for a second time has been jailed for seven years.

Officers from the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU) discovered the weapon in the boot of a taxi they stopped in Roff Avenue as it travelled through Bedford on the evening of March 31.

Four shotgun cartridges were also found in a holdall with the gun, along with 27.1 grams of heroin with an estimated street value of £1,346.

The occupants of the vehicle were arrested. DNA from one of the passengers, Nazish Shehzad, 35, was recovered from the butt of the shotgun.

He pleaded guilty to possessing component parts of a prohibited weapon and possession of heroin with intent to supply.

The court heard the gun had been adapted to such an extent it was no longer viable, however the judge ruled that, due to the fact there was live ammunition with the weapon, Shehzad would not have been aware it was not a working firearm.

A destruction order was made for the gun, cartridges and drugs.

Shehzad, of no fixed address, had been jailed for five and a half years in 2008 after a sawn-off shotgun was discovered at his Bedford home.

At the time he had claimed to have found it in an alleyway and decided to take it home for safekeeping.

Detective Inspector Gary Atkinson, from ERSOU, said: “Illegal firearms can strike fear into communities and have no place in our society.

“We will not tolerate those who use or supply such weapons and this case should serve as a warning as to how seriously the courts take such matters.”