Gang member's gun is found at Alvaston house where teen girl lived
A TEENAGE care assistant has been found guilty of possessing a sawn-off shotgun and hiding it for a gang member.
The weapon was found in the cellar of Shannki Steadman's home in Eden Street, Alvaston, on April 6.
The gun was placed there the previous night by Luke Hewitt-Hall, 21, who pleaded guilty to being in possession of the gun.
Steadman, 18, denied knowing that something had been put in the cellar by Hewitt-Hall, but she was convicted of possessing a firearm after a three-day trial.
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She told Derby Crown Court that Hewitt-Hall, a member of the notorious Allenton-based A1 gang, contacted her and asked to leave "something minor" at her house. She said she told him she did not want anything that would get the attention of the police at her home.
Robert Underwood, prosecuting, said that at about 10pm, Steadman, who was 17 at the time, texted her friend, Hewitt-Hall, saying it was getting late.
He then turned up at her house, which she shared with housemate Tamara Davies, also 17.
Miss Davies told the trial she let Hewitt-Hall in. She said: "I knew of Luke and knew Shannki was friends with him so I let him in. He was walking with a limp. There was something down his trousers.
"I thought he went up stairs, to Shannki's room. But I went into the kitchen minutes later and he was coming out of the cellar door.
"He went upstairs then and I heard Shannki say "what are you doing here?"
It was the following day that Miss Davies found the shot gun.
She said nobody in the house usually went down the cellar because it was "scary and dark" but that earlier that day, she did. She said: "The gun wasn't there then." She told the court: "I went down again on April 6 because the electricity tripped and I had to switch it back on. That's when I found it. I was very shook up."
Police were called in and Steadman was arrested.
Harry Bowyer, for Steadman, said text messages from Hewitt-Hall were found on her phone from earlier that day asking if anyone would look in the basement.
Steadman, who now lives in Cotton Lane, Derby, said that it was then that "alarm bells" started ringing about what Hewitt-Hall had left.
Giving evidence, Steadman said she had asked what the package was and he told her "something minor".
After the case, DC Matt Meyers, from Operation Redshank, which tackles gun crime, said: "Luke Hewitt-Hall is the main culprit in this incident but involved Shannki by taking it into her home. He is a prolific member of the A1 gang."
The pair will be sentenced on February 22.