A Salford man who had a secret firearm stash, including a military machine gun, stored in a cupboard under the stairs was jailed for 13 years yesterday.
Paul Gribbin, 42, of Lascar Avenue, Ordsall, pleaded guilty to nine offences of possession of a prohibited weapon.
He was sentenced to 13 years in total, six-and-a-half years each for possession of an assault rifle and the seven offences of possession of prohibited weapons and three years for possession of a Ruger rifle, to run concurrently.
Salford Police, assisted by the Project Gulf team, originally carried out a drugs warrant on February 22 at the address.
During the comprehensive search a number of items were recovered including a self-loading handgun, a sawn-off shotgun, a semi-automatic handgun with silencer, a rifle, a pump action shotgun, a Ruger .22 rifle, a Glock handgun and a military-issue light support weapon.
An array of ammunition was also found including magazines and a range of bullets.
Detective Chief Inspector Chris Downey of Swinton CID said: “Gribbin’s hoard was an astonishing array of weaponry the likes of which we rarely see.”
We might never know the full story behind how Gribbins came to have such a stash of guns, but we all know these weapons have two primary aims – to threaten or kill.
The police provided a clear warning for those who consider taking possession of illegal firearms.
DCI Downey added: “This sentence hands out the strongest possible message – if you harbour illegal guns, in whatever guise, and we find out, you are guaranteed to be sent to jail for a significant portion of your life.”