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Girl jailed for hiding gun

PUBLISHED: 18:17 09 September 2009 | UPDATED: 14:41 24 August 2010

DETECTIVES are reminding women about the consequences of hiding guns on behalf of their male companions following the sentencing of a teenager last week. Jodie Cousins, 19, of Clitterhouse Road, Cricklewood, avoided the mandatory five year term for posse

DETECTIVES are reminding women about the consequences of hiding guns on behalf of their male companions following the sentencing of a teenager last week.

Jodie Cousins, 19, of Clitterhouse Road, Cricklewood, avoided the mandatory five year term for possessing a weapon but was sentenced to two years at the Old Bailey.

Jurors heard she stashed the 9mm revolver under the floorboards in the bedroom at the home for a man who she has refused to name.

Cousins claimed in court she had been coerced by the man who had subsequently threatened her since her arrest.

The gun was discovered after police raided the home that she shares with her mother Amanda in September last year.

As officers searched her home, Cousins made a tearful call to her mother saying: "They're here about the gun."

Her fingerprints were found on the plastic bag used to wrap the gun in.

Forensics failed to link it to any crimes.

Cousins, who had hoped to train as a care worker, was described as an 'upstanding young woman' who had been expected to 'make a positive contribution to the community and society at large'.

Sentencing her, judge Recorder Douglas Day QC said there were 'exceptional circumstances' which meant he would not impose the statutory minimum five-year sentence for possession of a firearm.

He said: "Having read what I have about you and read the kind letters that have been sent on your behalf I am prepared to say there are exceptional circumstances in this case.

"Clearly you had no intention of using it yourself, however as you no doubt understand there nevertheless must be a custodial sentence in this case."

Detective Constable Peter Boyce from Operation Trident, the Met's specialist team that probes gun crime, told the Times Cousin's sentencing should act as a warning to other women.

He said: "It is important that those involved in the storing of firearms for gunmen clearly understand the consequences of what they are doing.

"We hope that the conviction and sentencing of this young woman acts as a warning and a deterrent to other people who might consider committing a similar offence."

"Some young women have the misbelief that if caught with a firearm they will not be prosecuted for possession as 'clearly' it is not their property.

"This is incorrect. If found guilty of gun possession, you will face a prison sentence."

Cousin's conviction comes just weeks before the launch of Operation Trident's new advertising campaign which will be targeting women who stash guns on behalf of men.

If you know someone who is in illegal possession of a gun you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


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