Fam­ily turned house into gun fac­tory to sup­ply un­der­world

Birmingham Post - - NEWS - Jane Tyler Staff Re­porter

ABIRMINGHAM fam­ily who made bul­lets and guns to or­der for crim­i­nals from their ter­raced Birm­ing­ham house have been jailed for a to­tal of 47 years.

Head of the fam­ily Kevin Bates – a dad-of-five with 13 grand­chil­dren – was a Wild West en­thu­si­ast who had legally held a firearms cer­tifi­cate for most of his life.

But his fam­ily took or­ders for am­mu­ni­tion and gun mod­i­fi­ca­tions from crim­i­nals, and made them in a work­shop in their mid-ter­raced house in Kitts Green.

Po­lice have linked the ammo and guns they made to at least 24 crimes, in­clud­ing the 2016 mur­der of Carl Camp­bell in West Bromwich.

At Birm­ing­ham Crown Court, Kevin Bates, his son Con­nor, nephew Nathan, and Con­nor’s friend, Im­ran Khan, were sen­tenced for their parts in the trade.

Daugh­ter Trudy Bates is also fac­ing charges re­lat­ing to the en­ter­prise and will be sen­tenced on April 6. A pre­vi­ous trial had heard how Kevin Bates, 55, and Con­nor, 23, were ar­rested af­ter their home in North Round­hay was raided in Septem­ber 2106.

Po­lice found five il­le­gal firearms and nearly 4,000 bul­lets and car­tridges.

Kevin Bates held a firearms cer­tifi­cate that al­lowed him to have a num­ber of ri­fles and re­volvers in a locked cab­i­net un­der the stairs.

But when po­lice searched the premises they found makeshift work­shops in the garage and util­ity room that were be­ing used to shorten shot­gun bar­rels and mod­ify am­mu­ni­tion.

Po­lice also found a safe con­tain­ing two re­volvers and a sin­gle shot pis­tol. A mod­i­fied Olympic .38 dou­ble ac­tion re­volver was found in the garage, and equip­ment for mak­ing a ri­fle round that could fit an AK47 ma­chine gun, as well as 49 live rounds of am­mu­ni­tion, were seized.

The trial heard how Kevin Bates had a leather note­book which was a “recipe book” with in­struc­tions on how to make bul­lets for the il­le­gal guns. A search of Con­nor’s car found 9mm bul­let car­tridges in sand­wich bags, along with a SIM card.

Con­nor was linked to an ad­dress in Bush­bury Road, Kitts Green, where a price list for var­i­ous mod­i­fied am­mu­ni­tion was re­cov­ered.

Im­ran Khan, an as­so­ciate of Con­nor, and Nathan Bates were found to be in­volved in the con­spir­acy af­ter phone records linked them to the on­go­ing sale of am­mu­ni­tion.

Kevin Bates was jailed for 23 years af­ter plead­ing guilty to three counts of pos­sess­ing a pro­hib­ited firearm, and was con­victed of two counts of pos­ses­sion of a pro­hib­ited firearm, pos­ses­sion of a pro­hib­ited weapons for sale or trans­fer, con­spir­acy to sell or trans­fer pro­hib­ited weapons and am­mu­ni­tion.

Con­nor Bates ad­mit­ted to con­spir­ing to sup­ply am­mu­ni­tion. He was con­victed of five counts of pos­sess­ing a pro­hib­ited firearm, pos­sess­ing a pro­hib­ited firearm for sale or trans­fer and con­spir­acy to sell or trans­fer pro­hib­ited weapons. He was jailed for 20 years.

Nathan Bates, 30, of The Heath­way, Shard End, was jailed for 42 months af­ter be­ing con­victed of con­spir­acy to sup­ply am­mu­ni­tion, pos­ses­sion of firearms, and con­spir­acy to sup­ply firearms. Im­ran Khan, 36, of Ot­tawa Tower, Edg­bas­ton, had pre­vi­ously ad­mit­ted con­spir­acy to sup­ply am­mu­ni­tion and was jailed for 16 months.

> From left: Kevin Bates, Con­nor Bates, Nathan Bates, Trudy Bates and Im­ran Khan

> Just a small part of the haul of guns and am­mu­ni­tion seized by po­lice

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