Birmingham physiotherapist who supplied gun used to murder Poplar man is jailed
PUBLISHED: 17:30 31 January 2018 | UPDATED: 17:30 31 January 2018
A physiotherapist who supplied guns and ammunition to criminal gangs, including bullets and weapons used in the murder of a Poplar man, has been jailed for 14 years today.
Mohinder Surdhar, who worked with the English karate team and for the NHS, used the cover of a legitimate firearms certificate to obtain weapons thought to have been sold on by his co-conspirators for up to £3,000.
A Colt pistol obtained by Surdhar was used to kill Hassan Mohamed Omer Isman who was shot dead in West End club Avalon on Boxing Day in 2013.
He also obtained ammunition and guns used in two other killings and an attempt to shoot down a police helicopter.
The 58-year-old from Birmingham, pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to a single count of conspiracy to transfer prohibited weapons and ammunition.
Passing sentence at Birmingham Crown Court, Judge Richard Bond told Surdhar he had breached the trust placed in him as a licensed owner of firearms, including a sniper rifle with a range of up to two miles.
The judge told Surdhar: “You were a physiotherapist with a PhD, well-educated and well-respected in your field.
“In short, over a period of several years you acted as the fulcrum in the supply of prohibited weapons and ammunition to criminal gangs.”
Trials of other defendants involved in the conspiracy heard that police across the country started to recover antique handguns and specially made ammunition from crime scenes from 2014.
Previous hearings which led to the conviction of more than a dozen men, including Gloucestershire-based gun dealer Paul Edmunds, were told Surdhar acted as a middleman to supply the criminal network’s chief armourer.
Police inquiries linked Surdhar to weapons used in 11 non-fatal incidents and 28 other shootings.
Jailing Surdhar, Judge Bond added: “It is impossible to say how many weapons you supplied over the years but it would now appear that you supplied hundreds of guns to the gang.
“Even to this day, weapons sold by you are still being seized from crime scenes.”
Edmunds, 66, was jailed for 30 years in December.