In past reports BM Northern region has focussed on gun crime in Liverpool and Merseyside and across Greater Manchester, but to show that we cast our gaze across Northern Britain, here is a gun crime story from Tyneside.
On September 16th 2021, in broad day light, a red VW car pulled into Heaton Gardens in South Shields and a gunman opened fire on a man as he stepped out of his house. No one was hit, but this was a warning from local gangsters Paul Momat and Joseph Millward to one of their rivals.
The shooters were imported from London and was to lead to a police investigation involving both Northumbria Police and the Metropolitan Police.
The criminal conspiracy behind the shooting in South Shields would lead to a ten-week trial at Newcastle Crown Court with a total of eight men being found guilty. The eight defendants are all being held on remand and will be sentenced in March 2023.
At the initial trial, four of the accused pleaded guilty from the outset, these were Joseph Millward from Hebburn, Tyran Baglin of no fixed address, Caspian Bhinder and Colin Crawley from London.
The rest of the gang pleaded not guilty, but at the end of the trial were all found guilty. These were Paul Momat from West Boldon, James Townsend from Oxford, Stephan Simpson from London, and Ashlee McKenzie also from London. A quick look over the police mug-shots shows what a racially diverse group the imported London and Oxford based criminals were.
The court heard that Paul Momat and Joseph Millward had arranged for the main shooters Simpson and McKenzie to drive up 300 miles to Tyneside before carrying out the shooting in South Shields. The London gangsters were put up in a property in Gateshead and provided with a stolen VW car by Tyran Baglin.
When the joint police operation was launched, Northumbria Police searched a number of properties across South Tyneside, while the MET raided addresses in London. The police raids in South Tyneside turned up a total of £36,000 in cash, a number of mobile phones, and assorted weapons including the hand gun used in the original shooting.
All eight defendants were found guilty of criminal conspiracy and also “conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.” A ninth accused man was acquitted.
An interesting case of London criminal violence being imported to ‘enrich’ the North-East with the by-products of a ‘diverse society’.
Main Image: Northumbria Police.
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