Rogue gun dealer who supplied pistol used to murder Poplar man is jailed for 30 years
- Credit: Archant
A rogue firearms dealer who supplied illegal handguns and home-made bullets linked to more than 100 crime scenes, including the murder of a Poplar man has been jailed today for 30 years.
Paul Edmunds imported a Colt pistol used to kill Hassan Mohamed Omer Isman who was shot dead in West End club Avalon on Boxing Day in 2013.
The 66-year-old also supplied ammunition used in two other killings and an attempt to shoot down a police helicopter.
The registered gun dealer, who said in an interview he did not care who he sold to, was found guilty in November of conspiracy to supply firearms and ammunition and smuggling banned Colt handguns into the UK from the United States.
Jailing “cavalier” Edmunds at Birmingham Crown Court, Judge Richard Bond told the pensioner: “You ran roughshod over your legal responsibilities as a registered firearms dealer.”
In wider remarks calling for tighter firearms regulations, directed at MPs, the judge added: “Unfortunately it takes just one person, as this case shows, to act in breach of the trust placed in them.
“Death and mayhem follow.”
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He added: “You were at the top of the chain of supply of handguns and ammunition to criminal gangs.
“Without your actions the numerous handguns and hand-loaded ammunition would not have found their way on to the streets of the United Kingdom.
“Quite simply, you were the lynchpin to this conspiracy and without you it could not have been carried out.”
Edmunds, who has two adult sons, supplied guns and live bullets to criminals through 56-year-old psychotherapist Dr Mohinder Surdhar, who he met at a gun fair.
The pair supplied antique revolvers and custom-made ammunition to criminal gangs.
Detectives discovered that one weapon - imported on November 14, 2013 - was used five weeks later in the murder of Hassan.
Four of Edmunds’ bullets were recovered from the victim’s body.
However, father-of-two Edmunds, had denied hand-crafting bullets for use in supposedly obsolete vintage weapons, including 19th century revolvers, which he brought into the country legally.
As well as importing antique weapons, the gun fanatic also imported hundreds more modern prohibited firearms from the United States, having falsified customs paperwork.
The judge, in remarks on current gun legislation, said he had been “aghast” to hear from one legally-registered firearms importer, who gave trial evidence, how packages “not always checked” by UK border officials.
He said “this lax attitude”, “means that those who can lawfully bring weapons into this country can do so without them being properly checked”.
Surdhar will be sentenced tomorrow.