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Three jailed for firearms offences

News   •   Jun 10, 2021 16:32 BST

The firearm seized

Three men have each been sentenced to five years and three months imprisonment each for multiple firearms offences after entering guilty pleas.

[A] Stephen Panagi, 57 (08.02.64) of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to selling/transferring a firearm, selling/transferring ammunition and possession of cannabis on 21 January.

[B] Daniel Sharpe, 45 (16.07.96) of Beckton Gardens, Manchester, M22, pleaded guilty to selling/transferring a firearm, selling/transferring ammunition, money laundering and possession of cannabis on 22 March.

[C] Andreas Antoniades, 29(17.03.92) of Marsh Wall, E14 pleaded guilty to conspiracy to acquire a firearm and conspiracy to acquire ammunition on 18 May.

A fourth person, [D] Daniella Forde (23.08.90) of Ardern Road, Manchester, M8, failed to appear at court for sentencing and a warrant has been issued for her arrest. She pleaded guilty on 16 April to possession of a firearm and possession of ammunition.

[A], [B] and [C] were sentenced on Thursday, 10 June at Wood Green Crown Court.

On Thursday 19 November 2020, officers observed a grey Toyota Prius, parked on Chase Road opposite Gerrards Close, London N14 with Stephen Panagi as the driver and sole occupant.

A short time later, officers observed a blue BMW enter Gerrards Close, N14, and go to the end of the close and stop near some garages. The vehicle was occupied by Danielle Forde (Driver) and Daniel Sharpe (front seat passenger).

As the BMW entered the close, the Toyota Prius was observed to leave its location and park next to the BMW. The Toyota Prius driver’s side was closest to the passenger side of the BMW. The vehicles were together for less than a minute, before the Toyota Prius left.

The Prius was stopped by armed officers on John Bradshaw Road, N14. As armed officers approached, Panagi got out of the vehicle and was standing at the driver’s door. Officers observed him drop a dark grey fabric style zip-bag and a black box with red clip onto the floor.

The box was opened and found to contain a loaded firearm along with 22 bullets. Panagi was arrested for Possession of a Firearm and ammunition.

Shortly after the Prius leaving, the BMW left the location and was stopped by armed officers on Bourne Hill, N13. Sharpe and Forde were arrested on suspicion of supplying firearms and money laundering.

All three suspects were taken to a north London police station.

A forensics examination of the weapon dropped by Panagi revealed it to be a converted 9mm PAK calibre, former blank-firing pistol. It was a Turkish Retay G17, or similar model, that resembled a conventional Austrian Glock self-loading pistol.

Call data showed no communication between the suppliers (Sharpe and Forde) to the customer (Panagi) and vice versa. The suppliers had travelled from Manchester to London.

The lack of communication between the two parties indicated to officers that a third party was involved to facilitate the transaction. Enquiries identified Andreas Antoniades as the facilitator.

Phone data proved that Antoniades was in contact with both parties prior, during and post transaction between Sharpe and Panagi.

After the transaction was completed, Antoniades called Panagi on numerous occasions, but they were not answered because he was under arrest at this stage. Evidence was obtained that showed Antoniades travelled to the hotel on John Bradshaw Road, E14, where Panagi was residing, on 19 and 20 November – after Panagi’s arrest. Antoniades was arrested for conspiracy to acquire a firearm and conspiracy to acquire ammunition on the 19 April 2021.

Detective Inspector Glenn Butler, from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command, said: “This is an excellent example of teams working together in the Met to remove a dangerous weapon and criminal property off the capital’s streets.

“Each of the 22 bullets seized could have gone on to cause serious injury, or even death, if we had not seized them.

“Firearms have no place in London and we are committed to robustly targeting both those who carry them and those who supply them.

“Whilst we are happy with the result, our work on this investigation will not stop until we arrest Danielle Ford and put her before the Court for sentencing. Anyone who has knowledge of her whereabouts should call the police straight away on 999.”