A 42 year old man from Edgbaston has been jailed for eight years after being found with a loaded pistol in his car while drunk at the wheel. 

Matthew Coke, of Selwyn Road, was spotted in the early hours of 7th January driving at speed in Icknield Street, Hockley by West Midlands Police officers in an unmarked vehicle.

After being seen jumping two red lights, Coke pulled over his Honda Civic in Hannafore Road, Edgbaston. Realising that it was police officer in the unmarked car, he ran off but was quickly chased down.

Searching Coke’s car, officers found a silver handgun hidden under the front passenger seat. Alarmingly, the pistol was loaded with five bullets.

Gun found under passenger seat

Coke denied knowing the handgun was in the car and refused to answer any further police questions.

After being examined by ballistics experts, it was found that the handgun was a viable firearm and was linked to crime in other parts of the country.

He was charged with firearms offences and drink driving and at Birmingham Crown Court on Monday (1st July) was jailed for eight years after being found guilty of gun possession.

Investigating officer, Detective Constable Thomas Oppenkowski, said: “Plain clothes officers were patrolling on the look-out for known offenders when they spotted Coke driving erratically. This was a great arrest and, following the discovery of a loaded gun, one that may well have saved lives.”

Loaded handgun

“Anyone found in possession of an illegal firearm – even if they are just storing it out of misplaced loyalty to a friend or partner and have no intention of using it – can expect to spend several years in prison.”

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