Father and Son Who Sold 4,000 Guns to Criminals; ARMS USED IN 8 MURDERS

Article excerpt

Byline: BILL DANIELS

A FATHER and son branded "quartermasters to the criminal underworld" were last night facing jail for supplying guns used in a string of crimes - including eight murders.

William Greenwood, 76, and son Mitchell, 42, sold 4,000 de-activated guns with the tools needed to turn them back into lethal weapons.

The former egg salesmen even advised customers on how to carry out the conversions.

A jury convicted them yesterday of conspiring to re-activate the weapons after each denied the charge.

And after the case, detectives revealed 225 guns recovered at the scenes of eight killings as well as gangland shootings and other crimes across Britain were a fraction of some 4,000 the duo sold to crooks.

Police also said they would lobby the Home Office to tighten the law on selling de-activated guns.

William, who has a bad heart, and cerebral palsy sufferer Mitchell legally advertised arms such as AK47 rifles and Uzi sub-machine guns for sale through firm RIFLE, of Little Eaton, near Derby.

But they sold them with a barrel blank - a metal tube for creating a new gun barrel - a reamer, for forming a new chamber, and tips on using both.

TV's The Cook Report and police exposed their trade. Anthony Russell, QC, prosecuting, told Derby crown court an undercover reporter was filmed being given "a number of nods and winks from the Greenwoods" on converting the guns in 1995.

An undercover detective was offered machine guns and pistols in 1998 and 1999 and told how to re-activate them.

The duo watched as he took notes. …