Shotgun and live cartridges found at house after Tarleton duo caught with drugs near HMP Garth

Preston Crown Court
Preston Crown Court
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Two men were caught with a sawn off shotgun and live ammunition in Preston, a day after being caught close to the perimeter of a Lancashire jail with cannabis.

Daniel Tracey, 25, and Liam Gould, 30, both of Coe Lane, Tarleton, near Preston, had insisted they were in the secluded area at twilight walking a dog, and looking for a lost phone.

But after hearing evidence during a trial of issue, a judge found the men were intending to throw the cannabis into the prison over a perimeter wall.

The bungling pair were spotted by a PCSO acting suspiciously on September 5 in Ridley Lane, Croston, which runs alongside HMP Garth.

She spotted Gould cross the lane where Tracey had parked, and disappear into bushes outside the jail’s perimeter.

Officers found cannabis in the crotch of Gould’s underwear - drugs they had originally insisted were for their own use.

Recorder Nicholas Clarke QC rejected the defendants’ claim the cannabis was for their own use after hearing how a subsequent probe found a viable 12 bore firearm and 25 cartridges in their home, as well as a ticklist of drug customers, on September 6.

He jailed Tracey for 88 months and Gould for 79 months respectively, and described the gun and cartridges as “horrendous tools for criminals to use”.

He said: “In the circumstances I find the cover story was untrue.”

“I’m satisfied these defendants are commercial dealers in drugs who intended to convey these particular drugs into the prison.

Both admitted possessing a firearm, ammunition and cannabis.