Wild West fa­natic at cen­tre of op­er­a­tion

Birmingham Post - - NEWS -

JUDGE Fran­cis Laird QC de­scribed Kevin Bates as the “guid­ing light” in the fam­ily en­ter­prise, and a man who was “highly skilled” at mak­ing and adapt­ing am­mu­ni­tion and guns.

“To the out­side world you were a ma­ture fam­ily man liv­ing in the house in Kitts Green where you had lived since you were a lit­tle boy,” he told him. “You ap­peared to be a nor­mal fam­ily man, a gun en­thu­si­ast with a par­tic­u­lar in­ter­est in at­tend­ing Wild West con­ven­tions and fairs.”

He said Con­nor was his fa­ther’s “right hand man” and was the op­er­a­tion’s “sales man­ager”. “You were the one with the con­tacts within the crim­i­nal fra­ter­nity that en­abled the op­er­a­tion to con­tact, ne­go­ti­ate and ul­ti­mately sell crim­i­nals within this city what they needed,” added the judge.

Judge Laird said Nathan and Khan were the “sales­men” who held face-to-face meet­ings and handed over the guns and am­mu­ni­tion.

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