Two men jailed after guns found in stolen car

Oliver Simons and Lewis Marsh, arrested for firearms offences by Essex Police

Colchester duo Oliver Simons and Lewis Marsh have both been jailed for more than eight years - Credit: Essex Police

Two men from Colchester have been jailed after guns were found in the boot of a stolen Mercedes.

The Mercedes CLK had been stolen from Hedingham Drive, in Dagenham, in August 2018 and was found abandoned in Daniell Drive, Colchester, complete with false number plates.

A search on the car found a .22 rifle and three sawn off shotguns, as well as ammunition for two of the weapons.

A sawn off shotgun found inside a stolen car

A locked gun cabinet containing a variety of guns has been stolen from a Lakenheath property. - Credit: Essex Police

Pictures from the car showed the scoped rifle laying on top of a pile of clothes in the boot, while the shotgun shells were kept in a bag.

Fingerprints belonging to Colchester men Oliver Simons and Lewis Marsh were found on the wrappings of one of the sawn off shotguns, while their DNA was also found on two other weapons.

The pair were arrested and charged with firearms offences in June last year.

Appearing before Chelmsford Crown Court in October this year, Marsh pleaded guilty to three counts of possession of a prohibited weapon, one count of possessing a self-loading rifle and one of handling stolen goods.

A rifle found in a stolen car

A rifle was also found in the boot of the car, which was abandoned in Colchester - Credit: Essex Police

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Simons stood trial at the same court on December 7 and a jury found him guilty of two counts of possession of a prohibited weapon on December 10.

On December 14, Marsh, 24, previously of Hawkins Road, Colchester, and Simons, 27, of Hickory Avenue, were both jailed for a total of eight-and-a-half years each.

An Essex Police spokesman confirmed the weapons, ammunition and encrypted smartphones will be destroyed.

Detective Inspector Steve Nelson said the force is acting "tirelessly" to ensure that gun crime in the county is kept to a low

Det Insp Nelson added: "These guns could have caused immense harm in the wrong hands and will now be destroyed.

“Fortunately, few people will ever be affected by gun crime and we are working tirelessly to keep it that way, by targeting organised crime and individuals involved in such violence.”