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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

DNA Evidence Helps Convict Two People for Firearms Offenses

A man and woman were convicted in the U.K. on September 11 for holding and transporting a gun and ammunition following a trial at Croydon Crown Court.

Bekki Dean, 26 of Carshalton, and Bradley Clancy, 39 of no fixed address, were found guilty of firearms offenses following a nine-day trial. Dean was found guilty of conspiracy to transfer a firearm, and possession of a firearm and ammunition with intent to endanger life. Clancy was found guilty of possession of ammunition and a firearm with intent to endanger life. He was also found guilty of conspiracy to transfer a firearm.

They will be sentenced at Croydon Crown Court on October 29.

Both defendants were arrested following a proactive operation tackling gun crime in London.

Shortly before 21:00hrs on August 14, 2019, specialist firearms officers, and officers from the Metropolitan (Met) Police’s Specialist Crime Command stopped a black Volkswagen Polo on Peterborough Road in Carshalton. The vehicle was being driven by Dean, who was removed from the car in order for the officers to conduct a search. 

At the time that she was stopped, Dean was on the phone to someone listed in her contacts as Bradley. She was asked if there was anything in the car she should tell the officers about before they carried out the search, to which she replied that there was a gun in a Louis Vuitton bag. This bag was on the front passenger seat and within that was a smaller black bag that held a pistol and a magazine containing multiple rounds of ammunition.

The firearm and ammunition were later subjected to forensic analysis by a firearms expert and found to be a Glock model 19 9mm Parabellum caliber self-loading pistol with a cartridge magazine, loaded with a quantity of cartridges. 

Dean was arrested for possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life. She made no comment when she was cautioned, and was taken to a south London police station.

During the interview, she gave a prepared statement claiming that she was under duress to transport the gun by a man who she was completely intimidated by and truly in fear of.

She made no reply to all other questions and did not provide any details of who this person was. She was asked who Bradley was and whether he had anything to do with this firearm at the time, but did not provide any details. She was charged with the offense she was arrested for.

Once Dean was charged and remanded, Specialist Crime officers were investigating who she was meeting to possibly deliver the firearm to and sent the firearm off for forensic testing. Her phone was subject of interrogation and within the images she had saved were images of a driving licence attributed to Bradley Clancy.

Enquiries showed that Clancy was in contact with Dean on the night of her arrest. Analysis revealed that Dean and Clancy had texted or called each other five times between 17:15hrs and 20:49hrs; including when she was on the phone to him at the time of her arrest. It also revealed that Clancy’s phone was located a short distance from where officers arrested Dean, potentially within viewing distance of the stop.

Officers located and arrested Clancy on October 17 2019 in connection with their investigation. They took a swab of DNA from him before he was released under investigation. This swab of DNA evidence was compared with DNA found on the muzzle of the Glock gun. The two matched, proving Clancy had been in previous contact with the gun that Dean was transporting.

Clancy was again arrested and charged with conspiring to possess a firearm with intent to endanger life / enable another to do so.

Detective Constable Andy Snazell, from the Met’s Specialist Crime South team, who led the investigation, said: “The stop on this vehicle led to the safe removal of a dangerous firearm from the streets of London and the subsequent investigation has resulted in these convictions.

“The expert forensic work from Met colleagues was the final piece of evidence we needed to link Clancy to this crime and help secure the conviction for him and Bekki Dean. Our forensics officers often work quietly behind the scenes, helping officers link criminals to their actions and providing the evidence we need to imprison them. Without their help in this case, Clancy may well have never even been arrested.

“No one in London needs to have such a gun in their car or possession. We are committed to arresting anyone in possession of one and making sure they are jailed for their selfish crimes.” 

Read the announcement at the Metropolitan Police

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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