Gun nut | 

Clumsy gunman who shot himself in foot is jailed after being caught with shotgun

Paul While blasted himself in the foot with a sawn-off shotgun as he tried to threaten a rival in December 2007
Paul While

Paul While

Neil Fetherstonhaugh

A hapless gunman who once shot himself in the foot has been jailed for four years after he was caught with a shotgun just weeks after being released from prison.

Paul While (32) of Glen Way, Tower Hill, Kirkby, Liverpool, left prison in September where he’d been recalled after being arrested over a previous firearms discharge.

Just 30 days later he was arrested by officers from the Merseyside Organised Crime Partnership (OCP) – a specialist unit comprising National Crime Agency and Merseyside Police officers.

On September 2 While, who is well known by organised crime groups (OCGs) across Merseyside was watched by OCP officers as he entered a property on East Prescot Road in Knotty Ash, Liverpool.

Officers moved in to arrest While, who in December 2007 blasted himself in the foot with a sawn-off shotgun as he tried to threaten a rival, as he ran from the house and threw a bag containing the shotgun over a fence into a neighbouring garden.

On Friday, he was jailed at Liverpool Crown Court after admitting possessing a shotgun when prohibited for life; possessing a shotgun without a certificate and possessing prohibited ammunition.

The judge said he had been involved in crime for the majority of his life.

This latest jailing marks six months since the new OCP unit was launched in April to tackle high risk OCGs bringing drugs and firearms into the region.

The partnership has been busy in that period seizing at least four firearms, £750,000 of criminal cash, 104 kilos of cocaine, 13 kilos of heroin and 63 kilos of cannabis.

At the end of October Simon Roberts, 57, of Greasby, was jailed for 10-and-a-half years for conspiring to supply heroin, cocaine and money laundering.

In May, drug dealer Stephen Taylor, 33, of Cronton, Widnes, was sentenced to nearly 13 years in an investigation which emerged from Operation Venetic – the UK law enforcement response to the takedown of encrypted comms platform EncroChat.

Another man currently awaits sentencing for conspiracy to supply cocaine and heroin, while in recent weeks a man from Wallasey and a man from Knotty Ash were charged with conspiring to supply heroin, cocaine and cannabis.

There are also two other drugs prosecutions in the judicial system after OCP investigations and in a separate inquiry, a man was jailed for five years after admitting possession of a prohibited firearm and possession of ammunition.

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Lamb said: “The OCP’s core mission is to protect the public and protect Merseyside from organised crime groups and offenders such as Paul While trying to blight it with their lethal commodities.

“Drugs and firearms so often go hand in hand and cause misery and chaos.

“It has been a very busy start for the OCP with some significant successes but we are determined to do more.”

National Crime Agency senior manager Mick Maloney, said: “Merseyside Police and the NCA together are a very strong partnership.

“The work we have done so far should serve as a warning to criminals across Merseyside that we are pursuing you and there is no end to our determination to bring you to justice.”

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