Guilty plea after machine gun find

police image of machine pistol
The Scorpion machine pistol discovered by police

A man has pleaded guilty in court after police officers discovered a Skorpion machine pistol, a revolver and ammunition in a disused car near his home in Lambeth.

Andre Roach, 31, of Bodley Manor Way on the Cressingham Gardens estate at the southern end of Tulse Hill, pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of a firearm and one count of possession of ammunition on Tuesday (9 March) at Inner London Crown Court.

He was found not guilty of possession with intent to endanger life.

The Metropolitan police said Roach was linked to the weapons by its specialist crime command following an investigation involving multiple forensic examinations.

He was remanded in custody for sentencing on Tuesday, 30 March.

police image of magazine and ammunition
Magazine and some of the ammunition discovered by police

The machine pistol recovered had been converted to be fully automatic and both it and the revolver were in full working order, the police said. Almost 100 rounds of ammunition – some designed to expand on impact – were also recovered.

Police said the discovery was made after officers in a car on patrol on 30 April last year became suspicious of a man riding a moped who was visibly uneasy at the sight of police and failed to stop when they indicated he should.

Following a short pursuit, the 29-year-old man was arrested. The police said that during a search the officers found cannabis.

They said the man who was searched shouted to another individual across the street to “go home and clear up”. Police subsequently arrested this man who was identified as Roach.

Due to his association with the man found in possession of drugs, Roach was searched under the Misuse of Drugs Act and found to have £315 in cash and two sets of car keys – one for his own vehicle and one for a car in a car park near his home.

Officers searched the second car, where they found the firearms and ammunition hidden under carpet in the spare wheel well in the boot.

police image of a revolver
The revolver discovered by police

The Met said that rigorous forensic examination revealed Roach’s left forefinger print and DNA profile on a plastic bag which contained the ammunition and on the grip plate of the revolver.

Detective Sergeant Chris Ladmore of the Met’s Specialist Crime Command said: “These firearms were manufactured for the singular purpose of killing or maiming.

“They have no place on the streets of London and the seizure of these formidable weapons is an exemplary example of how officers’ small observations of nuanced behaviour – which is a key part of their training – can lead to the discovery of serious crime.

“There is little doubt this seizure has prevented serious injury or even death.

“The dedicated work of specialist crime detectives, aided by colleagues within forensics, were able to build a case where Roach’s only option was to plead guilty to possession of these firearms and ammunition.

“We will continue to work tirelessly to remove these deadly weapons from the streets and I implore any person with information about firearms to speak to police or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously.”

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