aDealers in Death Are Facing Prison; Pair Supplied Deactivated Guns to Criminals and Gangsters

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID STRINGER

A FATHER and son who were convicted yesterday for their role as gun suppliers to the criminal underworld in London and Manchester also had links to loyalist paramilitaries in Ulster.

William Mitchell Greenwood, 76, and Mitchell Verne Greenwood, 42, both of Catchills Farm, South Wingfield, Derbyshire became quartermasters to gangsters and terrorists by providing thousands of deactivated guns with ready-made kits and instructions to convert them back into live weapons.

The duo offered more than 4,000 supposedly safe AK-47 rifles, Uzi submachine guns and pistols from a converted farm building at their home.

But in a secret sideline, they also offered to quickly and cheaply return the guns to a deadly state.

Derby Crown Court heard during a six-week trial that the pair sold barrel blanks and chamber reamers the tools needed to restore the firearms and offered customers advice gleaned from their store of 1,000 gun manuals.

Jurors, who unanimously found the men guilty of a charge of conspiracy to convert deactivated firearms into live weapons, were told that criminal clients were given nods and winks to indicate the guns including MAC10 and Browning pistols could easily be restored.

Following the verdict, police disclosed evidence not put before the jury which revealed that weapons supplied by the Greenwoods have been recovered at the scenes of eight murders, countless gangland shootings and in a loyalist arms cache.

More precisely, it emerged that former Royal Irish Regiment Lance Corporal William Ian Thompson from Ulster, who had links to the UVF, UFF and LVF, was found with Uzi-sub machine guns supplied by the Greenwoods. …