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Thursday, July 23, 1998 Published at 18:13 GMT 19:13 UK


Gun-running trio jailed

Mac machine guns are known as Big Macs by criminals

A Glasgow man has been convicted of gun-running at the Old Bailey.

Paul Ferris, 34, was jailed at Old Bailey for 10 years after being found guilty of conspiracy to sell or transfer prohibited weapons, conspiracy to deal in firearms and possessing explosives on May 23 last year.

Police demonstrate the power of the machine guns seized
Henry Suttee, 67, from Epsom, Surrey and Constance Howarth, 28, from Salford, Lancashire, were both jailed for five years for their part in arms trafficking plot smashed by joint national police and security services operation.

The trial follows a major surveillance operation which took place over two years.

[ image: Ferris: jailed for 10 years]
Ferris: jailed for 10 years
Ferris, a security consultant, was a well known underworld figure in Scotland and had come under the scrutiny of Strathclyde Police, the court heard.

The operation, between Strathclyde Police, the South East Regional Crime Squad and M15, focused in on Ferris, who has a string of previous convictions dating back to when he was 18, and an illegal arms dealer.

On one occasion when a vehicle, driven by Howarth, was stopped and searched a number of weapons, including detonators, three powerful Mac-10 machine guns and silencers were discovered.

The Mac-10s each weigh six pounds, measure 10.5 inches and could fire 1100 rounds a minute.

The box had been transferred to Howarth's car from another by Ferris and Suttee who had collected the box containing the arsenal from the arms dealer's address in Islington, London.

[ image: Howarth: jailed for five years]
Howarth: jailed for five years
Sentencing Judge Henry Blacksell QC said Ferris arranged to take delivery of a "lethal parcel of weapons, three Mac-10 machine guns, silencers, sub-sonic ammunition and detonators modified to cause explosions which would seriously maim or kill."

He said: 'It did not emerge where the eventual destination of these weapons was to be.

"Even in the course of your explanation it was to serve some criminal enterprise in the Glasgow area.

"On any view they were destined for major criminal activity putting the public at risk and designed to kill.

"One hardly dares speculate about the potential death and destruction that may have been caused if their intended criminal destination had been reached."

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