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Friday, 29 January 2010

Michael Sammon nickname - the Merchant of Death.

12:04 | , ,

Michael Sammon nickname - the Merchant of Death.Sammon was one of Britain's biggest gun crime lords, bringing murder, terror and violence to our streets.On the run for 11 years, he imported blank-firing guns to the UK, converted them into deadly weapons and sold them at a huge profit to killers and gangsters.Now, as Mickey the Fish begins 30 years behind bars,Sammon and his associates legally bought hundreds of flare guns - normally used to fire CS gas cannisters - in Germany for just £43 each.They smuggled the guns into a crumbling warehouse in Manchester, converted them and sold them on to gangs for £750.
Buyers came from Liverpool, Newcastle, Manchester, Yorkshire, Scotland, Bristol and Wolverhampton. To the gun gang, this was just a lucrative business. But the human cost has been huge - and is still rising.Police believe weapons from this prolific gun factory are behind more than 4,000 crimes nationwide, including kidnap, armed robbery, torture and extortion. Tragically, one was found by a teenager who accidentally shot dead his little sister.Jailing Sammon, 49, a week ago at Manchester crown court, Judge Martin Steiger called him a "merchant of death".
The judge added: "One hundred of the guns are still in circulation, waiting to do their lethal work to innocent victims."The police have tied 42 guns to Sammon, although around 250 are known to have passed through the gun factory in Ancoats.
The crimes committed with them include the fatal shooting of Kamilah Peniston, 12, at her home in Gorton, Manchester, in April 2007 by her brother.
Kasha, 17, had discovered one of Sammon's converted guns - which had been hidden by their mother for a boyfriend - and was "messing about" with it. A single bullet hit Kamilah in the head and, tragically, she died a day later. Kasha was jailed for two years for manslaughter.A month later, lorry driver Brian Walsh, 47, used one of Sammon's guns to shoot his ex-wife Pauline outside her home in Droylsden, Manchester, then he turned the weapon on himself. She survived, he died.Chillingly, crimelord Dominic Noonan, 43, was found with one of the handguns and five bullets when stopped by police near Darlington, Co Durham, in 2005.
Noonan, whose gang has been linked to more than 25 killings, once boasted: "The police reckon I am behind most of the murders in Manchester." He was jailed for nine and a half years over the gun find.
Sammon's guns were also used in an armed raid on a Rochdale post office on October 25, 2005. Owner Jagdish Patel was pistol-whipped and shot, although luckily the bullet just grazed his head.Robber John Welsby, 27, was later jailed for 13 years for his part in the raid while his accomplice Aiden Martin, 18, got six years and eight months behind bars.
Another pistol smuggled in from Cologne was used by bloodthirsty kidnappers in Wavertree, Liverpool, in May 2005. Their victim was tortured with a hot iron.Police were threatened with another gun in September 2007, after they chased a car in Kirkdale, Liverpool.A man was arrested with a gun hidden in his underwear in Manchester in September 2004. And in October 2005, a youngster pulled a ME 38 Pocket revolver on a pub landlord in Bolton, after being refused entry. Drug arrests also led police to finding part of Sammon's deadly haul in some strange locations - buried in an allotment in Newcastle, hidden in a bag on a golf course in Liverpool.An ME 38 Compact pistol was found in a shallow grave at university grounds in Manchester. Guns were found in woodland in Sheffield and at the Top Nosh cafe in St Helens. Several turned up in Manchester's "Triangle of Death" which has been hit by gun crime.Five accomplices were jailed in 2006 but Sammon, who had been on the run since 1997, remained at large, constantly changing his identity and appearance.
He was eventually traced to a caravan park in Southsea in 2008 and is now serving 30 years for conspiring to possess, import, modify and circulate the firearms.
Sammon worked alongside Robert Tyrer, 51, who was jailed for 19 years in 2006. They masterminded the operation and recruited David McCulloch, 52, to convert the flare guns. He is serving six years after spilling the beans on the crime.
Ds Jim Gray of Greater Manchester Police's Xcalibre Organised Crime Unit said: "Sammon needed stopping as he has caused a lot of misery and suffering."
He added: "It's unusual to come across gun factories and never one so big.
"It's fair to say that the weapons converted in this factory are responsible for a big slice of the gun crime in Britain.
"We're always looking at new shootings to see if it's one of these guns. It's frightening that so many of them are still out there. Sammon would sell to anyone.
"Any crime involving a gun with a .38 calibre could be one of his."
Kamilah Peniston, 12, died after being accidentally shot in the head in April 2007. Brother Kasha, 17, found one of Sammon's guns and was "messing around" with it.
When two gunmen raided his Rochdale post office on October 25, 2005, Jagdish Patel was pistol-whipped and shot. Fortunately, the bullet merely grazed his head.
Notorious crimelord Dominic Noonan, 43 - whose gang has been linked to over 25 murders - was found with one of the handguns when stopped by police in 2005.

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