At around 8.15am on Wednesday 9 October 2019, police were called by a member of the public who had found a rucksack containing a firearm in their back yard in Salford.
Officers attended and the member of the public told them that, minutes earlier, a man had knocked on and asked them if they had found a rucksack in their back yard.
The rucksack was searched and found to contain a firearm, a home-made silencer and ammunition as well as trainers, trousers, a jacket, gloves and a balaclava.
Later that day, covert officers observed Craig Taberer (24/05/86) of Sunningdale Drive, Swinton hanging around near where the rucksack was found.
Following an examination of the items, Taberer was forensically linked to the firearm and clothes.
On Sunday 20 December 2019, officers from GMP’s Operation Artic team attended an address in the Culcheth area of Warrington and arrested Taberer on suspicion of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life. He was taken into police custody for questioning, during which he claimed he had been asked to look after it by men whose names he would not disclose.
Taberer was charged and subsequently pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life, possession of a silencer with intent to endanger life and possession of ammunition with intent to endanger life.
Yesterday (Monday 16 March 2020), he was sentenced at Manchester Crown Court to 12 years imprisonment.Detective Sergeant Daniel Worthington, of GMP’s Operation Arctic team, said:
“This is a great result for both police and members of the public across Greater Manchester - the items in the rucksack could have been used to kill or cause serious injuries but are now off the streets.
“I would like to use this opportunity to thank the individual who found the rucksack for contacting police and assisting us with our investigation – intelligence from members of the public helps us protect communities from serious and organised crime. I would also like to highlight the work of our surveillance officers and the Operation Arctic team – they are thorough and absolutely committed to keeping Greater Manchester safe.
“I hope Taberer’s sentence serves as a stark warning to anyone who is involved in serious and organised crime or is even in possession of a weapon that neither GMP nor the justice system will tolerate this and, once caught, you are likely to receive a hefty prison sentence.”