Gun-toting yobs locked up over images

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Balaclava-clad thugs have been sent to jail after posing with a sawn-off shotgun for terrorist-style pictures.

The trio wore masks and gloves to pose for photos taken on the mobile phone of Damien Williams - who was minding the illegal firearm for a criminal.

Jailing them, Judge Simon Lawler QC said: “It is offensive to ordinary people and it is a stupid thing to do.”

Williams, aged 22, plus Harry Marritt, 21, and Joseph Carnell, 18, were arrested after police stumbled across the photos on Williams’ BlackBerry while visiting his home to investigate the suspected handling of stolen goods.

Carl Fitch, prosecuting, told Sheffield Crown Court the weapon and ammunition were found in Williams’ bedroom.

Williams said he had been asked to look after the 12-bore Winchester shotgun, but claimed it was never loaded and it never left the house.

Marritt and Carnell said they posed with the firearm for a just a few seconds.

Under tough gun laws the men could have been jailed for a minimum of five years for possessing an illegal firearm.

But their sentences were reduced because the gun had not been shortened enough.

Williams, of Oxspring Bank in Wadsley Bridge, Marritt, of Burns Hall Crescent in Ecclesfield, and Carnell, of Maltravers Terrace, Wybourn, admitted possessing the firearm.

Marritt, a scaffolder, admitted burglary, assault, dangerous driving and breaching a three-year ASBO, and was locked up for 30 months.

Carnell was sent to a young offenders’ institution for six months.