Wild West fanatic at centre of operation
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.