Gang member jailed for hiding sawn-off shotgun in pal's cellar
A GANG member who hid a sawn-off shotgun in the cellar of a friend's house has been jailed for six years.
Luke Hewitt-Hall was arrested after the weapon was found in the cellar of Shannki Steadman's home in Eden Street, Alvaston.
Hewitt-Hall, of Jubilee Road, in Shelton Lock, pleaded guilty to possession of a shotgun and was sentenced to jail for six years.
Steadman, 18, was found guilty of the same charge after a trial and was sentenced to 18 months in a young offenders' institute.
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Hewitt-Hall, 21, a member of Allenton's A1 gang, visited Eden Street on the night of April 5. He limped into the house and entered the cellar.
When he emerged and went to Steadman's bedroom, he was not limping any more, Derby Crown Court heard.
Robert Underwood, prosecuting, said that this was because the gun had been hidden in his trousers.
Hewitt-Hall has previous convictions, including one for robbery when he was 15. He has also served time in a young offenders' institute for possession of class A drugs.
During sentencing, Judge John Burgess said: "Hewitt-Hall pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.
"There are two things that the court needs to address. The first is possessing a sawn-off shotgun, that can only be used for illegal purposes, and the second is the fact that you are a member of a gang.
"You have many previous convictions and these are aggravating features."
Steadman, who later moved to Cotton Lane, Derby, was 17 at the time of the offence and was sentenced by Judge Burgess on the fact that she did not know it was a gun that had been hidden.
Judge Burgess added: "Shannki knew that something was hidden in her home. She took a risk and turned a blind eye on letting the member of a gang hide something.
"I think she was being made use of as a vulnerable person who would not ask too many questions about what it was that was being hidden.
"But the law is strict in these cases and the message needs to be sent out that anybody found with firearms will be dealt with in a very strict way."