HANDGUNS SOLD IN WEST HAM: Persistent gun merchant criminal jailed

London – VIJAY SHAH via LORRAINE KING and Newham Recorder

A West Ham, east London man who was put on licence by judicial authorities after being charged with selling illegal weapons has been sent to jail after he was caught violating his licence terms… by selling weapons.

Lennie St Clare Walters had previously being jailed for ten years for supplying weapons and ammunition, but served half of the sentence before being released on licence, but will now lose his freedom and be recalled to prison after he was caught selling to an associate, local news outlet the Newham Recorder reported this week.

 

The 47-year-old gun dealer is said to have sold two handguns and a total of 73 rounds of ammunition to two separate customers in 2017, it was reported. One customer lived near St Clare Walters, whilst the other customer arranged a stopover to collect the weapon in Leyton, using a taxi cab to help meet up for the purchase.

At his recall trial at London’s Snaresbrook Crown Court, his previous conviction in 2010, where he was jailed for a decade for supplying a MAC-10 machine gun. He was released on parole, but was re-arrested in February 2018, where police found him carrying bullets wrapped in plastic bag material.

St Clare Walters admitted to the court that he had supplied the weapons, but that he had not intended to endanger life. The court, convened this past Friday, however found against him and the gun dealer was returned to prison for seven years, according to the Recorder. St Clare Walters’ two customers were also arrested, pleaded guilty to gun offences and were jailed.

Detective Constable Gareth Starr, from the Trident and Area Crime Command section of London’s Metropolitan Police force, told the paper: “Due to an intelligence-led investigation and working alongside our colleagues from the firearms unit, not just one, but three men, who were in possession of firearms, have now been taken off the streets.”.

Many parts of inner London has long experienced problems with illegal and criminally modified weapons used in criminal activities. This year, the city has suffered a wave of shootings and stabbings, mostly involving people under 30, with 89 murder investigations opened by the police so far.

SOURCES:

Newham Recorder, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/Newham.Recorder/

“Jailed: Convicted Mac-10 gun dealer who supplied firearm and ammunition to associate in West Ham” – Lorraine King, Newham Recorder/Archant Community Media Ltd (9 September 2018) http://www.newhamrecorder.co.uk/news/crime-court/gun-dealer-jailed-for-trade-in-west-ham-1-5687267

IMAGE CREDIT:

“File:MAC10.jpg” – Mike Cumpston, English Wikipedia via Wikimedia Commons (13 April 2008) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:MAC10.jpg

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GHOUTA CHEMICAL STRIKE: Dozens of innocent Syrians feared dead

Douma – VIJAY SHAH via TOM ACRES and Sky News

In an escalation of the Syrian crisis where government troops allied with the country’s president, Bashar Al-Assad, are fighting rebels in the Ghouta area east of Damascus, a report has come in stating that around 70 people have been killed in a chemical bomb attack blamed on the Syrian army.

In what UK media firm Sky News has dubbed ‘one of (the) worst chemical strikes in Syrian history’, dozens of people, many believed to be women and children, were said to have died in Ghouta, a rebel-controlled district on the outskirts of capital Damascus, where a months-long siege between rebel and government forces has caused immense hardship for thousands of residents. Around five hundred people have been reported injured, according to Sky.

 

The United States has called on Russia, which is supporting President Al-Assad, to cease its support after the Ghouta chemical atrocity. The U.S. State Department said it was keeping tabs on the ‘grossly disturbing’ situation, which occurred in a city named Douma, around 10 km (6 miles) north-east of Damascus city centre. Babies and small children were among those caught up in the attack, according to video footage provided by Sky News. Children were seen in great distress, some clutching gas masks. A volunteer rescue service, called White Helmets in English, an opponent of the government, said it found dead children with frothing saliva around their mouths

The Syrian government has denied carrying out a chemical attack in Douma, but has been accused of using chemical weapons on civilian populations in previous skirmishes with the numerous rebel groups active in the Middle Eastern country. In April 2017, more than 80 people were killed in another suspected chemical attack in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun, which was also said to have been carried out by the Syrian government army. According to US intelligence, Al-Assad’s army is said to have stockpiles of the highly lethal gas agent, sarin, and possibly mustard gas.

“The United States continues to use all efforts available to hold those who use chemical weapons, in Syria and otherwise, accountable,” the State Department said in a statement, which referenced the alleged sarin gas attack on Khan Sheikhoun last year.

“The Assad regime and its backers must be held accountable and any further attacks prevented immediately.

“Russia, with its unwavering support for the regime, ultimately bears responsibility for these brutal attacks, targeting of countless civilians, and the suffocation of Syria’s most vulnerable communities with chemical weapons.”

Britain called for an “urgent investigation” into the alleged use of illegal weapons and an immediate end to the bloodshed.

“These are very concerning reports of a chemical weapons attack with significant number of casualties, which if correct, are further proof of Assad’s brutality against innocent civilians and his backers’ callous disregard for international norms,” the country’s Foreign Office said in a statement.

“An urgent investigation is needed and the international community must respond. We call on the Assad regime and its backers, Russia and Iran, to stop the violence against innocent civilians.”

In addition to the denial of responsibility by the official Syrian government, state-owned media outlets there have claimed that reports of the chemical attacks were propaganda, fabricated by rebels who they claim are close to defeat. Most of the Ghouta area is now back under government control, with only Douma city itself still under the control of the rebel group called  Jaish al Islam.

SOURCES:

Shere Singh via Facebook.

“Dozens dead in ‘one of worst chemical strikes in Syrian history’ ” – Tom Acres, Sky News/Sky UK (8 April 2018) https://news.sky.com/story/at-least-70-dead-in-chemical-attack-by-syrian-regime-in-eastern-ghouta-says-rescue-group-11322143

IMAGE CREDIT:

“File:Syria – Damascus Areas of Influence and Areas Reportedly Affected by 21 August Chemical Attack.jpg” – whitehouse.gov and Elissa Rubria Honoria, Wikimedia Commons (3 September 2013) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Syria_-_Damascus_Areas_of_Influence_and_Areas_Reportedly_Affected_by_21_August_Chemical_Attack.jpg