Six admit gun charges

Police search homes in Chadwell St Mary following the theft

Police search homes in Chadwell St Mary following the theft

First published in News by , Reporter

A GANG admitted charges in connection with the theft of £100,000 of guns off the back of a lorry.

Six men admitted the charges relating to the theft of 83 firearms off a truck parked overnight in the Burnt Mills Industrial Estate on April 18.

Another two defendants denied any involvement in the heist and have been told they will stand trial in November.

The defendants appeared at Basildon Crown Court yesterday afternoon.

Daniel Harris, 33, of Godman Road, Chadwell St Mary, Ashley Henry, 27, of no fixed address, Ryan Heapy, 24, of Hobart Road and Matthew Wells, 28, of Godman Road, Chadwell St Mary, all admitted stealing firearms between April 18 and April 20.

The four also admit possessing firearms without a licence and possessing shotguns without a certificate on the same date.

Jason Balding, 33, of Nicholson Crescent, Benfleet and Mark Box, 29, of no fixed address admitted receiving the stolen firearms, possessing firearms without a licence and possessing shotguns without a certificate.

Two other defendants, Eric Rudanec, 52, of Southchurch Avenue in Southend and Marcus Ireson, 28, from Grays denied receiving the stolen firearms, possessing shot guns without a certificate and possessing firearms without a licence.

Box denied one charge of producing £20,000 of cannabis but admitted driving dangerously through the streets of Southend on May 13 while he made off from police and driving while disqualified.

Officers have recovered the majority of the 24 shotguns and 59 rifles- used for sports such as clay pigeon shooting.

The firearms were stolen off the back of a lorry as it was parked overnight in Swinbourne Road, while its driver stopped for a rest break.

He was driving the cargo from the Devon to France but was first making pick-ups in the east of England.

After police were informed of the thefts, arrests were made at various addresses across south Essex.

While raiding properties in Southend Box made off from police in a VW van.

The vehicle was in collision with a police car in Blenheim Chase, Leigh just before 11am.

The vehicle failed to stop at the scene and was later discovered near a hotel in Eastern Esplanade, Southend.

Box was snared by police following a county-wide manhunt.

Rudanec and Ireson will stand trial on November 24.

The other defendants will be sentenced at Basildon Crown Court once Rudanec and Ireson’s trial has concluded.

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