A woman has been jailed for three years after a sawn-off shotgun she was looking after for someone ended up being taken into a Bedfordshire school.
Keesha Kalyan was just 17 when she was looking after the gun and ammunition.
The weapon was discovered in the bag of a 15-year-old boy at Kempston Challenger Academy in October 2018, sparking a major alert at the school.
Police found text messages between the two discussing a ‘dotty’ - which is urban slang for a shotgun - being taken into Kalyan’s home address and her asking the boy not to say anything about it.
When police arrested the boy they found Snapchat messages between the pair discussing the weapon, and Kaylan was also arrested.
Detectives found her fingerprints on the bag containing the gun, but when questioned, she claimed that the ‘dotty’ she was referring to in the text messages was a religious ornament.
Kalyan, now 21, and living in Cowley, near Uxbridge, was handed a three-year custodial sentence on Wednesday (20 April) after being convicted in November last year for possessing a prohibited firearm.
Defending, Ahmed Muen said Kalyan had never been in trouble before but it was her fault the weapon ended up at the school.“She was the custodian and was being groomed by a person she was besotted by.”Mr Muen said Kaylan's two children were in the care of social services, but she saw them every day and was intent on bettering herself. “She keeps different company now and asks for a chance. She has not been in trouble since and is throwing herself on the mercy of the court.”
Jailing Kalyan, who cried in the dock, Judge Gary Lucie said: “The defence say you have turned a corner, but unfortunately you chose not to be straight forward and honest. You lied to the police, you lied to the jury and lied to probation and social service.“This was a serious offence and one that could have had fatal consequences. Guns are a blight on our society.”
Detective Sergeant David Gordon, who investigated the case, said: “We can’t stress enough that if you are caught carrying any kind of illegal firearm, even if it is an imitation one, there will be a price to pay and this is likely to be in the form of a stint in prison.
“Using the excuse that it isn’t yours or that you are carrying it for your own protection simply won’t wash with us.
“Carrying a prohibited weapon can lead to devastating consequences, for not only the individuals involved, but for the families of those who get hurt through such actions. If you have concerns or feel like you are being forced, bullied or coerced into storing a gun for someone, please speak to us and we will try to help you."