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Three sentenced after shotgun was found hidden in a bag of cuddly toys

PUBLISHED: 10:07 22 August 2018

Two female friends and an accomplice from Meopham and Gravesend have been sentenced after a shotgun was found hidden in a bag containing cuddly toys. Picture: NCA

Two female friends and an accomplice from Meopham and Gravesend have been sentenced after a shotgun was found hidden in a bag containing cuddly toys. Picture: NCA

Archant

Two female friends and an accomplice from Meopham and Gravesend have been sentenced after a shotgun was found hidden in a bag containing cuddly toys following an investigation by the joint National Crime Agency and Metropolitan Police’s Organised Crime Partnership (OCP).

Samantha Fearne, Terri Pemberton and Billy Stokes. Picture: NCASamantha Fearne, Terri Pemberton and Billy Stokes. Picture: NCA

Billy Stokes, 28, and Terri Pemberton, 24 were jailed for two years and 18 months respectively.

Pemberton’s friend since her school days, Samantha Fearne, 22, was sentenced to 80 hours community service.

The three were sentenced yesterday (Monday August 20) at Maidstone Crown Court, where they all pleaded guilty.

OCP officers watched as Stokes picked up Fearne and Pemberton from Windmill Street in Gravesend in his transit van on Tuesday, October 24 2016 at 1.15pm.

Officers searched the vehicle and found a shotgun with a shortened stock and two rounds of ammunition in the sack containing the toys and a duvet. Picture: NCAOfficers searched the vehicle and found a shotgun with a shortened stock and two rounds of ammunition in the sack containing the toys and a duvet. Picture: NCA

Stokes drove to Chalk Road in Higham, Kent, where the two women were seen by officers going into a house.

Fifteen minutes later the pair emerged, and Fearne was carrying a large clear sack containing cuddy toys and a child’s duvet which Stokes then put in the back of the van.

Stokes then drove the friends to Higham train station where he dropped them off.

Shortly after, an armed response unit from Kent Police stopped Stokes in nearby Cobham.

Officers searched the vehicle and found a shotgun with a shortened stock and two rounds of ammunition in the sack containing the toys and a duvet.

Stokes was arrested for being in possession of a shotgun without a certificate.

Pemberton and Fearne were arrested at their home addresses in Gravesend for the supply of a shotgun without a certificate.

Matt McMillan, from the Organised Crime Partnership, said: “All three have never said exactly why they were in possession of a shotgun and cartridges, but it would have been for criminal purposes.

“Anyone carrying a gun or preparing one for criminal use poses a serious threat to the public.

“The NCA and Met officers of the Organised Crime Partnership are determined to find those involved with criminality and bring them before the courts.”

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