A 21-year-old man, Cameron Collier, was sentenced to 16 years in prison after being discovered with a loaded handgun during a drugs raid at his residence in Leeds.

The Leeds East Neighbourhood Policing Team, on June 4 this year, executed a Misuse of Drugs Act warrant at Collier’s address. Upon searching the premises, officers uncovered a handgun beneath the wardrobe in his bedroom.

Initially mistaken for a BB gun, firearms officers were summoned to inspect the weapon, revealing it to be a functional firearm loaded with ammunition. Forensic examination determined it to be a blank-firing pistol modified to discharge ammunition, equipped with steel ball bearings. The firearm was found with one round in the chamber and two in its magazine.

Specialist detectives from the Leeds District Programme Precision Team, focusing on serious and organised crime, conducted the investigation into the firearms offences. Collier was subsequently charged with possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Earlier, he faced charges related to a May 14, 2021, incident in Garforth, where he stabbed an 18-year-old man with a kitchen knife, leading to a Section 18 wounding with intent charge. On June 11, 2021, he was apprehended in Hunslet with approximately £800 worth of cannabis, £526 in cash, and an extendable baton, resulting in charges of possession with intent to supply a Class B drug, possession of a Class B drug, and possession of an offensive weapon.

Further, on November 5 of the previous year, Collier was arrested following a disturbance in Hirst’s Yard in the city centre. This incident involved a group being chased through the city centre with a machete, and a modified blank-firing pistol was discovered after Collier threw a bag containing the weapon under a car. Charges of possession of a firearm and possession of a machete were filed in relation to this incident.

On December 15, at Leeds Crown Court, Collier received a sentence of 13 years and four months imprisonment, with a three-year extended licence period.

Detective Inspector Michael Herbert, who heads Leeds District Programme Precision Team, said; “Illegally held firearms and ammunition such as these have the potential to kill or cause serious injury and have absolutely no place in the hands of criminals.

“The criminal use of firearms is an issue that causes understandable concern in our communities, and I hope people will be reassured to know that a dangerous offender like Collier is now safely behind bars.”