Published: 10:00, 20 January 2017
| Updated: 10:14, 20 January 2017
A drug dealer who kept a handgun under his pillow has been jailed for almost seven years.
Sampson Obasusi claimed had the 9mm self-loading pistol under the pillow in his bedroom because it was “the safest place”.
But a judge decided the 29-year-old had the weapon, along with ammunition, at his home in Kingswear Gardens, Strood, to threaten people when dealing in drugs.
Obasusi admitted possessing a prohibited firearm and possessing ammunition when prohibited, having previously been sentenced to youth custody.
He also admitted possessing 19 packages of herbal cannabis weighing 211g and worth over £2,000 with intent to supply, possessing heroin and possessing a blade article.
Judge Martin Joy imposed the minimum mandatory sentence of five years for the firearm offences and 20 months consecutive for the blade and drugs offences, making a total of six years and eight months.
Prosecutor Catherine Picardo said the knife was found in Obasusi’s car when he was stopped in Canal Road, Strood, in June 2015.
"It is a lethal weapon capable of discharging a bullet" - Catherine Picardo
Obasusi was stopped again in New Road, Chatham, in July last year and the cannabis and heroin were seized.
Also in the car in a bag were a balaclava, small crowbar and gloves. His mobile phone could not be examined because he would not provide the PIN.
The Italian Kimar pistol and 9mm and live shotgun shells and a box of blank 9mm ammunition were discovered when officers searched his home.
Miss Picardo said the gun was made to discharge CS gas, but the insert inside the barrel preventing the firing of bullets had been removed.
An expert was able to fire 9mm bullets from it. “It is a lethal weapon capable of discharging a bullet,” Miss Picardo told Maidstone Crown Court.
Obasusi claimed in evidence the pistol had been given to him by his girlfriend. He said it had been owned by her late father and was of sentimental value.
“The ammunition looked a bit too big to go in the gun,” he said. “I didn’t think they were together. I hadn’t fired it.”
Asked why he kept the gun under his pillow, he said: “I just thought it was the safest place to put it. I didn’t think it worked. I just forgot about it.”
Judge Joy told Obasusi, who had been sentenced to three years youth custody for attempted robbery, he had no doubt the “sinister” knife was in the car because Obasusi was involved in drug-dealing.
“The firearms were in your possession because of the necessity for protection and, perhaps, for enforcement of threats, because the reality is you are involved in dealing with drugs,” he added.
More by this authorKeith Hunt