Crime boss Craig Moran fled UK in back of a lorry after police found firearms in Bestwood house, court told

A crime boss is claimed to have fled the UK in a truck after police found firearms in a Bestwood house. Details of Craig Moran's disappearance were revealed on the first day of a trial of ten people at Nottingham Crown Court. The jury was told that officers traced a US-made pump action gun.

It could fire 12-bore cartridges and was linked to two shootings in Salford, greater Manchester. Later a Biretta air pistol was found as police officers searched a house in Laybourne Drive on the Bestwood estate, said Christopher Tehrani QC, prosecuting. At the time, mobile phone checks showed that Mr Moran was in Bestwood.

Mr Tehrani said: "As a result of the find of the pump action shotgun he left, possibly to keep out of the way of the police and to avoid arrest." It was claimed that he initially went to Manchester. His Range Rover was filmed on the M1 as it drove out of the Hucknall area.

He described Mr Moran as a leader of a Nottingham crime group, saying he later left the UK via Dover and is thought to be overseas. The prosecution allege that the defendants had an agreement with a crime group in Manchester to bring drugs and weapons to Nottingham. Mr Tehrani said that police officers found five Dutch-made mobile telephones which can turn messages into codes which cannot be broken.

The prosecution say these were used by some of the offenders. Four people plead not guilty to conspiring to transfer prohibited weapons between July 31 2017 and March 11 last year.

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They are Lee Hudson, 22, of Wendling Gardens, Nottingham; Callum Sims, 33, of Morrell Bank, Bestwood; John Newns, 38, of Spruce Court, Salford; Richard Jones, 45, of Balantyne Street, Manchester; Jodie Danson, 39, of Edmund Street, Salford. Nine people deny conspiracy to supply Class A drugs between July 31, 2017 and March 11 last year.

They are Hudson, Sims, Newns, Danson, Dean Hudson, 21, of Arnold Road, Nottingham; Craig Bailey, 30, of Delaney Heights, Salford; Lisa Unwin, 38, of Revelstoke Way, Nottingham; Natalia Woszczyk, 24, of Bradley Avenue, Lower Kersal, Salford; Chelsea Palethorpe, 19, of Willow Road, Carlton. Lee and Dean Hudson deny conspiring to produce cannabis between July 31, 2017 and March 11 last year. Unwin pleads not guilty to conspiring to convert money, knowing or suspecting it to be the proceeds of criminal conduct.

Sims denies having a CS spray canister, a weapon which could discharge a noxious liquid or gas on March 29, 2018. Newns and Lee Hudson plead not guilty to having 131 cartridges without having a firearm certificate. Lee and Dean Hudson deny having GBP13,160, suspected to be criminal profits.

Jones pleads not guilty to having a bulleted cartridge without a firearm certificate and also denies having cocaine, Ecstasy and cannabis with intent to supply. He denies having GBP1,060 which is suspected of being criminal property. Newns denies producing cannabis, Palethorpe pleads not guilty to transferring GBP500, suspected of being the proceeds of criminal conduct.

The trial continues on Monday.

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