BREAKING MANCHESTER

A teenager from the Moss Side area of Manchester has been jailed for over six-and-a-half years for firearms and drug offences after discarding a loaded shotgun during a police chase in March last year

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Nathaniel Morris was sentenced to six years and eight months on Friday 14 May at Manchester Crown Court after admitting possession of a firearm and possession of class A drugs with intent to supply.

Morris, of Chattock Street, is the latest conviction relating to GMP’s Xcalibre Task Force crackdown on firearms in South Manchester.

The offences relate to an incident on the evening of Wednesday 25 March 2020 when patrolling officers on Oxford Road were made aware by a member of the public of a suspected robbery by a group of youths on bikes.

Police executed a search of the area and later spotted a man, now known to be Morris, on his white bike on Freetown Close.

Morris immediately attempted to flee from officers but was forced off his bike a short distance later and subsequently arrested after a foot chase ending in the car park of Manchester Science Park.

The teenager was searched and found to have a shotgun cartridge in one of his jacket pockets before a balaclava and gloves were recovered from near to where he was detained.

A further area search on St Bees Close where Morris abandoned his bike led to the discovery of a single barrel shotgun, later found to be loaded with ammunition. The shotgun was found to have a shortened barrel and a string attached to it to make it easier to carry.

Officers progressed to searching Morris’s address where they found almost £300’s worth of drugs in a Kinder Egg capsule – including 28 snap-bags of heroin and one of cocaine.

Despite denying possession of the shotgun, forensic analysis linked Morris to firearm and the ammunition and was subsequently charged.

He pleaded guilty to possession of a prohibited weapon, possession of cocaine and heroin with intent to supply, and possession of cannabis.

Detective Constable Mark Graham, of GMP’s Xcalibre Task Force, said: “After a thorough investigation from start to finish, it is rewarding to now see Morris be put behind bars for a considerable amount of time thanks to the hard work of the patrolling officers who initially gave chase to Morris, and then the investigation team thereafter.

“The fact that Morris was brazen enough to be cycling around with a loaded shotgun highlights the danger that this man was likely to pose – weapons and criminals like these can be lethal and we are determined to do all we can to prevent threats like this from roaming our streets.”

Detective Inspector Ian McNabb added: “Our ongoing fight against organised crime in the city has seen us take a high number of potentially deadly weapons from the streets, and our work continues on a daily basis.

“We know that when we seize weapons and ammunition, or put someone behind bars, that we can’t stop there, and the Xcalibre Task Force will continue pursuing criminals across Manchester to bring them to justice and ensure the safety of the public.”

Anyone with suspicious or information should contact police online, if able, via www.gmp.police.uk or 101. Always call 999 in an emergency.

Details can also be passed anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.