Ex-gang leader in Kadeem case is convicted of gun offence
THREE men caught in possession of a double-barrelled shotgun were snared by police from messages they sent each other via mobile phone.
The gun was found in a taxi swooped on by officers as it travelled across Derby.
One of the men involved in transporting the gun was Ashley Campbell, former leader of Derby's notorious A1 gang.
In 2008, Campbell was one of four men given Asbo orders over suspicion they were involved in gun crime.
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In November 2009, he was jailed for two-and-a-half years for helping hide the man who shot dead Derby teenager Kadeem Blackwood, 15.
Campbell was released in February 2010 on the condition he did not associate with certain individuals, but sent back to prison in October for breaching his parole.
In November 2010, he was jailed for 12 months for possession of cannabis and introducing his friend to a dealer.
Now Campbell, 27, has been jailed again, for two years and eight months, along with two other men – Shalane Blackwood, 26, and Shabba Antonio, 18 – involved in possession of the shotgun.
Derby Crown Court heard that, on March 13 this year, Campbell, Antonio and Blackwood worked together to transport the shotgun to a pub in the Stenson Fields area.
From there it was put in the back of a taxi which was intercepted by armed officers who discovered the gun in a red holdall within the car.
Prosecutor Adam Pearson said: "The transport of the weapon was organised by Campbell and Blackwood and there was mobile phone contact between them throughout the day and night of March 13. They organised the movement of the shotgun. Two other individuals did the actual moving and that was Antonio with one other man, who is due to be sentenced separately."
Mr Pearson said Antonio brought the gun, carried it in the holdall to the pub in Stenson Fields, and from there bundled it into the back of a taxi which was shortly afterwards stopped by armed police.
He told the court: "Antonio ran but was caught by police on foot a short distance away and arrested.
"The red holdall was left on the back seat of the taxi and contained a double-barrelled shotgun which was dismantled into two parts but was in working order."
From mobile phone evidence, police then arrested Blackwood and Campbell and all three pleaded guilty to the charge of conspiring to possess a shotgun.
The court also took into account several harassment charges against Blackwood, who had made a series of threatening and abusive phone calls to the family of a 19-year-old girl with whom he had been in a relationship.
Speaking for Campbell, of Osmaston Park Road, Shaun Smith QC said: "His only real mitigating feature is his credit for his guilty plea."
For Blackwood, of Tobermory Way, Sinfin, Alwyn Jones said he accepted involvement in arranging the transfer of the weapon.
He said the harassment was "out of character".
Judge Ebraham Mooncey sentenced Campbell and Blackwood to two years and eight months, giving Blackwood a further 12 months to serve consecutively for his harassment charges.
He gave Antonio, of Wigston, Leicestershire, one year and eight months, saying the teenager had played a lesser part in the offence and was now "at a crossroads" in his life.
Judge Mooncey said: "All three of you have contact with the A1 gang. Where there are gangs involved, criminal activities do follow."