Monkey dust user carried a gun and ammo in a bag after receiving drug-debt threats



Monkey dust user Robert Savage carried a revolver and ammunition in a carrier bag to a hostel and told a staff member he feared for his safety.

The 48-year-old had run up debts with dealers and he and his family were being threatened.

Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard he went to the Salvation Army hostel in Stoke, where he used to live, and asked to speak to a staff member.

He confided in the the worker and showed him a firearm and ammunition hidden under some clothes in a bag.

The worker removed the gun and ammunition and put them in a safe before calling the police. The defendant waited until officers arrived and was arrested.

Now Savage has been sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for 18 months.

Prosecutor Darron Whitehead said the defendant had previously lived at the Salvation Army hostel and attended there at 11pm on September 17 last year.

“A worker at the hostel became aware the defendant was outside the building and asked to speak with him,” he added.

“The defendant appeared to be expressing concern about his own safety and his involvement with individuals who were dealing drugs. He informed the man he was carrying a gun and showed him a firearm inside a carrier bag hidden under some clothes.

“The man removed the firearm and ammunition and he locked them in a safe, away from the defendant, before he contacted the police.

“The defendant remained at the premises until the police arrived.”

An expert examined the firearm and it was a .177 gas-powered revolver which was capable of discharging ammunition. It was tested and was able to discharge ball bearings (BBs) and three different weighted pellets.

Mr Whitehead told the court: “There was a large quantity of .177 lead BBs and one single pellet, which were assessed as suitable for use in the revolver.”

Savage, of Shadwell Street, Birmingham, pleaded guilty to carrying a firearm in a public place and possession of a firearm when prohibited.

Stuart Muldoon, mitigating, said the defendant had been using monkey dust and accrued a debt.

He added: “He was being threatened and he feared for the safety of his family. Somebody offered him ammunition and a weapon and he took it.

“But he volunteered he had the gun, it was taken from him and he stayed there and was compliant with the police.

“He is now free from class A drugs and from monkey dust use.”

Mr Muldoon said the defendant is now working in the kitchen at the Salvation Army in Birmingham and intends to enrol on a college course.

He urged Judge Paul Glenn to suspend any sentence.

As part of the suspended sentence, Savage must complete a rehabilitation activity requirement for 35 days.

Judge Glenn said: “You turned up at the Salvation Army at about 11pm, wanting to speak to a member of staff. You confided you were having trouble and your family were being threatened and you volunteered you had with you a gun with ammunition. It was a gas-powered revolver type pistol which fired ball bearings. One was found in the chamber.

“Your convictions mean you were prohibited from possessing a firearm for five years.

“This is not a weapon one needs to be authorised to possess. There is no evidence it had been used.”

Savage was also ordered to pay £250 costs.





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