Dozy duo caught in Chorley with sawn-off shotgun after drunken escapade jailed
Two men who were arrested when police found a sawn off shotgun in a car in Chorley have been jailed.
Marcus Grange, of Chain Road, Manchester, was jailed for three and a half years, while his co-defendant, Luke Hatfield, of Alworth Road, Manchester, was jailed for three years.
Police stopped and searched the car after it was reported driving erratically earlier that morning.
READ MORE: Two men charged with possessing a sawed-off shotgun at Chorley petrol stationPreston Crown Court was told officers had received a report that a man was driving a VW Golf through Blackburn Road and Victoria Street in Wheelton, Chorley, while drinking from a bottle of Jack Daniels.
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The report was made at 8.30am on October 23, and around half an hour later, Marcus Grange entered the Shell petrol station on Preston Road in Chorley.
The 29-year-old was intoxicated and went on to racially abuse a member of staff, Niluk Geeganage, there.
Prosecuting, Paul Cummings said police were then called to the scene.
When they attended the fuel station, they saw the same Golf parked outside.
Grange and 32-year-old Hatfield were still sitting inside it.
The car was searched and the sawn off shotgun was found in the boot.
Both defendants pleaded guilty to a charge of possession of a firearm without authority, and possession of a firearm when prohibited.
Both already had serious convictions on their criminal records.
Judge Beverley Lunt, who sentenced the pair, was told Grange had previous convictions for possession of a shotgun.
He also pleaded guilty to driving without a licence and fail to provide a breath specimen.
Most people who possess a prohibited firearm can expect a five year mandatory sentence unless there are exceptional circumstances.
The judge accepted the men were not intending to use the weapon in a criminal fashion.
The most common reason criminals cut off some of the barrel from a shotgun is to make it easier to conceal, for example under clothing.
Sawn off shotguns can be deadly because the ammunition is propelled faster than it would be if the barrel was complete, and the ammunition can scatter a wider area.
In the UK, shotguns that are sawn off to have a barrel length of less than 30cm or an overall length of less than 60cm are prohibited weapons.