Sheffield youth worker jailed for weapons haul

Matthew Bandoo.
Matthew Bandoo.
Have your say

A graduate with a degree in youth work who helped at an anti-gun project for young people was caught with a cache of terrifying banned weapons hoarded in his Sheffield home.

Matthew Bandoo, aged 29, had three stunguns made to look like torches, 50 CS gas canisters disguised as lipsticks, and 51 tasers, all of which he planned to sell.

His own defence barrister told Sheffield Crown Court: “This is a young man who has spent years studying, who attended youth and community projects assisting young people making sure they don’t go down the wrong path.”

Jailing him for five years judge Mr Justice Stephen Males told him: “You had focused on assisting young people - including, perhaps ironically, a project relating to gun culture.”

Five years ago Bandoo told The Star he was being targeted by undercover police.

At the time he insisted: “I am law-abiding. I work on placements with children in schools and I do voluntary work in my spare time. I have been treated like a criminal.”

But when police searched his home in 2012 on Lydgate Hall Crescent in Crosspool, Sheffield, they found a CS gas canister, a stungun disguised as a mobile phone - and a bag of the drug MCAT.

A package labelled ‘flashlights’ contained stunguns and CS spray canisters.

The court heard he ran an internet business, and ordered the weapons from China which he claimed were for distribution in France.

Detective Constable Bradley Ward said: “Dangerous weapons had been made to look like everyday objects, concealing the life-changing damage they could do. It remains unclear what Bandoo aimed to do with them, but a trawl of his computer’s history found searches for stunguns and pepper spray.”

Former bouncer Bandoo, most recently of Mount Street, Sharrow, admitted possessing prohibited weapons, disguised firearms and a Class B drug.

The judge said: “You had a large quantity of weapons intended for re-sale.”