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Shotgun Criminal Jailed after resident reports Van Men in South Oxhey

A man from Sandridge has been given a 10-year jail sentence for firearms offences after a shotgun was found in a van in South Oxhey by police.

On 27 May 2021, police received a call from a resident in Blackford Road, Watford, reporting that a van had been abandoned in their driveway. The caller stated that two men had been seen exiting the van and heard discussing a gun being fired.

Upon arrival, officers identified two men at a nearby property who refused to engage and provided false details regarding the registered owner of the van. Both men were arrested on suspicion of taking a vehicle without consent.

Upon searching the van, officers discovered a viable shotgun and multiple rounds of ammunition. As a result, both men were further arrested on suspicion of possessing a firearm and possession of ammunition.

Robert Dean, aged 35 and from Watford, and Jamie Harrowell, aged 37 and from Sandridge, were both charged and following a trial at St Albans Crown Court, were found guilty of firearms offences.

Harrowell was convicted of possessing a firearm with the intent to endanger life, possessing ammunition with the intent to endanger life, possessing a prohibited firearm, possessing ammunition without a firearm certificate and possessing a firearm while prohibited. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison, followed by five years on licence.

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Dean was found guilty of possessing a prohibited firearm and possessing ammunition without a firearm certificate. He received a 24-month sentence suspended for 18 months, having been on remand since his conviction date of 22 December 2022.

The sentencing took place on Tuesday 7 March.

Detective Constable Rob King, who led the investigation, said: “Harrowell had an extensive criminal history with a number of serious offences, which is reflected in his sentence. I hope he uses his time in prison to reflect on his choices, and that this sentence sends a strong message to those involved in firearms criminality. Harrowell is now facing a lengthy time behind bars and the same fate awaits anyone involved in this abhorrent criminal activity.”

He added: “Unlawful possession of a firearm will always be treated very seriously, given the danger to the public, particularly so when firearms are discharged in a public place. Thankfully, while this gun was shot inside the vehicle, no one was injured.

“However this kind of activity will not be tolerated and we will do all we can to bring offenders to justice. The sentence imposed highlights that the court reflected the seriousness of the offending.

“The seizure and destruction of this gun mean that very serious harm has now been prevented and I would like to thank the member of public for calling in their suspicions. A lot of our best results come from the public calling in their suspicions and so I encourage you, whenever something doesn’t seem right to get in touch. It’s thanks to you that we can get these results.”

You can use our anonymous community voice platform ‘echo’ to let us know what you think we should be prioritising in your area. Your feedback will help towards shaping our local policing priorities, initiatives and campaigns. Visit echo (opens in a new window) and tell us your thoughts.

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