Teens Kyra Laing and Mark Rukwira jailed for 16 years for possessing gun
3:14pm Tuesday 25th September 2012 in News
Two teenagers have been jailed for 16 years after hiding a semi-automatic gun in a bedroom drawer.
Kyra Laing and Mark Rukwira, both 18, were last week sentenced to eight years each after being found guilty of possessing ammunition and a firearm with intent to endanger life.
The pair admitted holding the gun and denied the charge of intending to harm others, but were convicted by jury following a week-long trial at the Old Bailey in August.
Laing, of Knollys Road, Streatham, was arrested in January after detectives searched her bedroom and found a Raven .25 handgun wrapped in a bag.
Police also found five rounds loaded in the gun, five rounds stored in a clip and a gun holster.
Initially Laing denied all knowledge of the weapon and gave a statement to officers saying Rukwira, of no fixed address, put it there.
The court heard how Laingm who was studying for a qualification in hospitality, agreed to hide the gun on behalf of Rukwira after receiving a text message in January 2011.
Judge Timothy Pontius said the sentence he imposed would send a strong deterrent message to youth carrying guns.
Detective Chief Inspector Rebecca Reeves, from Trident Gang Command, said: "I believe that by locating and recovering this gun we have prevented possible acts of violence and even prevented a shooting or a murder from taking place.
“Laing and Rukwira now have lengthy prison terms to serve during which they can consider the consequences of their actions.
“In particular I hope this case acts as a deterrent to anyone but particularly young women who hide or are thinking of hiding deadly weapons on behalf of their partners or associates.
“By doing so you are contributing and actively committing a very serious crime and very likely to find yourself facing a long term of imprisonment.”