Three jailed for firearm offences


Three men have today been jailed at Birmingham Crown Court for their joint possession of an imitation firearm which was discharged in a city suburb in broad daylight.

Armed police officers were called to the Hodge Hill area of the city at around 2:30pm on 27 December 2016 by members of the public after witnesses saw the offenders firing a gun twice in the street. The offenders then drove off in a stolen white BMW 3 series car.

Officers pursued the offenders, initially in a car chase and then on foot when the men alighted from the stolen car and ran off. During the foot chase, the pistol was discarded. The three men ran into a nearby supermarket where one of them, 18-year-old Archie Cope, was arrested by police firearms officers. At the time of his arrest Archie Cope was wearing a bullet proof vest.

During the police investigation, a self-loading blank-firing pistol was recovered from the area. Subsequently, 20-year-old Alex Cope and 18-year-old Malik Ahmed were both arrested.

On 20th March 2017, Alex Cope pleaded guilty to possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence and has today been sentenced to two years' detention in a youth offenders institution.

Following a trial in June 2017, his brother, Archie Cope, and the third defendant, Malik Ahmed, were both found guilty of the same offence. They were both sentenced to two years' detention in a youth offenders institution.

Stephen Davies, District Crown Prosecutor with West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said: "These three men pointed and fired an imitation firearm twice in broad daylight, during a busy holiday period in an area of the city where there were people present, including young children.

"The defendants' actions were designed to cause fear of violence amongst innocent members of the public. They had no regard for anyone's safety and when confronted by the police, they fled, discarding the pistol in the street.

"The Crown Prosecution Service is working in conjunction with the police to tackle, disrupt and prosecute anyone who possesses or discharges an illegal firearm."