A man and a woman who broke into an elderly man’s house and stole eight shot guns have been jailed.
Amanda Morris, 45, from Leigh, was found guilty of burglary at Liverpool Crown Court and has been sentenced for five years in prison.
Muhammed Shabib Ahmed, 25, from Southport, has been jailed for 21 months after pleading guilty to burglary at Liverpool Crown Court at an earlier hearing.
The 76-year-old victim had been a registered firearms license holder since 1991 and had amassed a collection of firearms, ammunition and air rifles at his Linden Grove home.
The victim had known the perpetrator, Amanda Morris, for several years and the two were friends, with Morris possessing a set of keys and occasionally visiting the victim in his flat.
Two weeks before the burglary, the pair struck up a relationship.
At around 2pm on Wednesday 10 December 2015, the victim left his flat for a hospital appointment, with Morris also leaving to ‘meet friends’.
While he was out, a neighbour saw an unfamiliar black hatch back parked outside the victim’s address, with people moving property, including eight shotguns, from the downstairs flat into the vehicle.
A subsequent investigation by the General Manchester Police (GMP) revealed that the owner of the car seen outside the address was Muhammed Ahmed, who admitted driving from Liverpool to Leigh at the time of the offence.
Detective Sergeant Lee Shaw of GMP said “Morris befriended the vulnerable victim, identified what valuables he owned and then positioned herself to strike when the chance arose.
“It is no coincidence that she started a relationship with the victim just weeks before carrying out the burglary, allowing her closer access to his life so she could steal his firearms while he was out of the way.
“While that is a despicable act in its own right, what is more worrying for the wider public is that these guns have not yet been recovered and have possibly ended up on the illegal weapons market, where they will be available to dangerous criminals”.