1. ITV Report

Man jailed after sawn-off shotgun found in rabbit hutch

Dogs were found in 'poor conditions' Credit: South Yorkshire Police

A sawn-off shotgun hidden in an empty rabbit hutch on an allotment plot in Sheffield has resulted in a man being sent to prison for five years.

Jack Brook, 21, was charged with possession of a prohibited weapon after police executed a warrant at allotment plots in Shirecliffe in August last year, and discovered a sawn-off shot gun and a box of ammunition containing 11 shotgun cartridges at one of the plots.

Officers arrived at the allotments on Penrith Road on the afternoon of Friday 19 August 2016, after information was received of suspicious activity at two of the plots, which were rented to Brook’s family.

Jack Brook was jailed for 5 years Credit: South Yorkshire Police

On searching the two sites, as well as the firearm discovery, it became apparent the plots were being used to breed dogs, as 21 puppies, 13 German Shepherds and eight Collies, of varying ages but all less than eight-weeks old, were also found in poor conditions.

Brook was arrested at the scene and later charged with the firearm offence.

The RSPCA were also called in and the puppies were handed over to them.

The shotgun was found in a rabbit hutch Credit: South Yorkshire Police

Brook appeared at Sheffield Crown Court on Wednesday 24 May this year, and entered a guilty plea to possession of a prohibited weapon. He was sentenced yesterday (Wednesday, 28 June) to five years in prison.

DC Steve Hemsley investigating said: “I’m pleased Brook is behind bars and a dangerous weapon is now off the streets, out of circulation and unable to fall into anyone else’s hands.

“The allotment plots Brook chose to hide the firearm at had been in his family for over 40-years and have now both been repossessed by the council due to his criminality.

I hope this send out a strong message that we will not tolerate the possession or use of firearms in South Yorkshire and I would always encourage anyone with information or concerns, to report it to police or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

– DC Steve Hemsley

The RSPCA have since rehomed the dogs and Brook received a caution for animal welfare offences.

In response to Brook’s activity at the allotments, Sheffield City Council added: “Criminality is something we will not tolerate on our allotment plots, or indeed on any council-owned property.

“It doesn’t matter how long you or your family may have had an allotment – if you are found to be using a plot for criminal activity, we will evict you, and hand any evidence to the police.

We are happy to work in partnership with South Yorkshire Police and others, to ensure that our allotments remain safe, family-friendly sites for the community to enjoy.

– Sheffield City Council spokesman