Pair Behind Bars After Stealing Shotguns
30th June 2016
A man and woman who broke into an elderly man's house and stole eight shotguns have been jailed.
Amanda Morris (born 15/05/1971) of Linden Grove, Leigh was found guilty of burglary at Liverpool Crown Court on Friday 10 June 2016.
Muhammed Shabib Ahmed (born 22/02/1991) of Bath Street, Southport, pleaded guilty to burglary at Liverpool Crown Court at an earlier hearing.
Today, Thursday 30 June 2016, Morris was jailed for five years and Ahmed was jailed for 21 months.
The court heard how the victim, who was aged 76 at the time, had been a registered firearms license holder since 1991 and had amassed a significant collection of firearms, ammunition and air rifles at his Linden Grove home.
The victim had met Amanda Morris several years earlier and the two were friends, with Morris occasionally visiting the victim in his flat.
Two weeks before the burglary, the pair struck up a relationship.
At around 2pm on Wednesday 10 December 2015, the victim left his flat for a hospital appointment, with Morris also leaving to "meet friends".
In the police interviews following the theft, the victim described her behaviour on that day as 'anxious', but did not think anything of it.
While he was out, a neighbour saw an unfamiliar black hatch back with the registration plate 'MV11 YS' parked outside the victim's address, with people moving property from the downstairs flat into the vehicle.
When the victim returned to his property, he found the door unlocked and the secure iron gate leading to his firearm cabinets open, with eight shotguns missing.
Morris had keys to his flat, and knew where the keys to his firearms cabinets were kept.
A subsequent investigation revealed that the owner of the car seen outside the address was Muhammed Ahmed, who admitted driving from Liverpool to Leigh at the time of the offence and later pleaded guilty to his part in the burglary.
Detective Sergeant Lee Shaw said: "Morris befriended the vulnerable victim, identified what valuables he owned and then positioned herself to strike when the chance arose.
"It is surely no coincidence that she started a relationship with the victim just a couple of weeks before carrying out the burglary, allowing her even closer access to his life so she could steal his firearms while he was out of the way.
"While that is a despicable act in its own right, what is more worrying for the wider public is that these guns have not yet been recovered and have possibly ended up on the illegal weapons market, where they will be available to dangerous criminals.
"The reason we have such tight gun controls in this country is to prevent innocent people being caught up in violent crimes involving firearms.
"And each legitimately-owned gun which ends up in the hands of criminals increases the chances of innocent people being injured or even killed."