A burglar involved in helping underworld drug dealers get their hands on 10 lethal firearms from a pensioner’s home has been jailed for four years.
Ishmaille Rudd had been driven by taxi from Liverpool along with another man to reconnoitre the premises and they returned the next day to carry out the break-in, a court heard.
The legally-owned firearms were kept properly in a locked cabinet by 76-year-old Fred Needham.
But a neighbouring woman, Amanda Morris, moved in with him two weeks before the break-in and she was involved in the offence. She had keys for the home and also knew where the cabinet keys were kept.
Morris, the taxi driver and the other man were jailed last year but Rudd has now appeared for sentence.
Liverpool Crown Court heard that the raid at the premises in Linden Grove, Leigh, took place on December 10, 2015 while the pensioner, a retired gamekeeper, who has since died, was out at a medical appointment.
The stolen shotguns, pistols and air rifles were valued at £9,000, but there black market value was significantly higher, the court was told at an earlier hearing.
Rudd, 23, of Jermyn Street, Toxteth, Liverpool, was not detained until about a year later and the weapons have never been recovered.
He was arrested when his home was raided and a distinctive cap he had been wearing during the burglary was found.
Sentencing him, the judge Recorder Kevin Grice said the burglary had been “planned and organised in order to obtain a significant quantity of firearms for distribution into and for the use of the Liverpool criminal underworld, particularly one connected with drugs.”
Frances Hertzog, defending, said Rudd, who appeared via video link from prison, had not been responsible for transporting the shotguns back to Merseyside.
“He has been trying to turn his life around and has become involved with The Hub centre working with children with disabilities and trying to put something back into society.”