A convicted gangster caught with two loaded firearms and ammunition - despite his desperate efforts to hide them before police burst in - was jailed for 13 and a half years this afternoon (Wednesday, May 13).
A judge told Jack Quinton, who was on licence from prison for a gangland kidnapping and aggravated burglary offences having only been freed six months earlier, that he poses a high risk of serious harm to the public. He consequently also imposed two and a half years extended licence and under new legislation he will not be eligible for release until he has served two thirds of the custodial term. One of the weapons a self-loading Glock pistol which had been adapted to be semi-automatic also had a silencer with it which Judge Thomas Teague, QC, described as a “very sinister aspect.” He told 26-year-old Quinton, “While impossible to say that you intended to use this weapon to endanger life or to enable others to do so it is perfectly clear you were on any view extremely close to the firearms and their intended use in the furtherance of activities of an organised crime group.”
Liverpool Crown Court heard that he had been involved with the Fernhill Gangland and had long standing links with firearms. After his arrest in 2013 for the kidnapping and aggravated burglary offences, during which he had been the driver, his mobile phone was seized and it revealed photographs of him holding various firearms.
Judge Teague said that although he could not say that Quinton intended to discharge either the Glock or revolver he was looking after them or possessing them as part of an organised crime group. While he had “conformed” while serving his previous sentence and completed courses “unfortunately you reverted to involvement in serious organised crime within a short time of your release.”
The judge said he accepted that a pre-sentence report “reveals you had a truly terrible start in life and a very disturbed and no doubt unhappy childhood.”
Quinton’s partner, Darhyl Hannah Smith, mother of their seven-month-old daughter, who had been driving him around knowing of his involvement and assisted him after his arrest, narrowly escaped an immediate jail term.
Nicola Daley, prosecuting, had told the court that on March 28 last year police officers went to Quuinton’s garage premises in Bedford Road, Bootle, from where they recovered two loaded firearms - a 10.9 calibre revolver and a Glock self-loading semi-automatic pistol, together with ten rounds of 9mm ammunition for it and a silencer.
“When those weapons and the bags that they were recovered in were forensically examined, Jack Quintons’ DNA was recovered not only on the straps and handles of the bags but also from various surfaces around the weapons. These weapons were ‘ready to go ’as well as being loaded, the Glock had with it a silencer which the court could infer was to enable the firearm to be used stealthily in order to have maximum impact. “
She said that Quinton had pleaded guilty to being in possession of the Glock with intent to endanger life or enable others to endanger life and additionally had pleaded guilty to being in possession of the revolver and ammunition, without a relevant certificate, which was capable of being used with each of the weapons.
Miss Daley explained that earlier on the day of the raid Qunton and two other men went to the landlords of the property in Bedford Road, which was the address for NJ Autos and explained the proprietor had disappeared. They said they wanted to take over the lease and Quinton handed over £1,500 cash for rent, deposit and arrears and a set of keys for the new locks they would be using.
Five hours later armed police arrived outside the garage and soon afterwards uniformed officers established a cordon as a crowd had gathered. Armed officers broke a padlock on the premises and the only occupant Quinton was detained.
“It is believed that Jack Quinton hid the firearms on top of the chimney breast prior to the police gaining access to the garage. When he was arrested, his hands were covered in black dust, visually similar to that seen in the area of the chimney breast,” she said.
Before he was detained he had rung Smith, who was pregnant, and she turned up at the scene and they again spoke on the phone. When he came out he “indicated it was all a misunderstanding and he was then arrested,” said Miss Daley.
The property was searched and a red bag, which was clean, was found on the top of a very dusty chimney breast. When the bag was opened it was found to contain two further bags.
“One of was a ‘Boss’ man bag containing the revolver and six rounds of ammunition. Additionally, with that revolver and ammunition was a gold container containing a further five rounds of ammunition suitable for use with the revolver. The other was a grey shoulder bag, containing a Glock self loading pistol, loaded magazine and silencer.”