An Uber driver was jailed for five years on Monday after he was caught ferrying a revolver for an associate who bragged on his phone about selling guns to killers.
Abdul Kikwera, 33, was given ammunition and a handgun by the 23-year-old, who cannot be named, in a black House of Fraser shopping bag.
After the exchange took place Kikwera sped off towards London’s West End with the Flobert revolver and 17 rounds of ammunition.
Police were watching Kikwera and shortly afterwards armed officers stopped his red Toyota Prius on the Strand, Woolwich Crown Court heard.
In the passenger footwell they found the black bag with the gun and bullets along with £80.
The revolver is favoured by criminals because it is small and easy to conceal, the court heard.
It was bought for just €65 in Slovakia and had a street value of up to £3,000.
Kikwera’s lawyer, Philippa Page, claimed that he was unaware of the contents of the bag left in his cab.
‘There is nothing to suggest that he had any kind of involvement in anything criminal prior to being arrested,’ she said.
‘The bag had been left without his knowledge.
‘It was clearly stashed in his car and it does not, therefore, follow that he had knowledge of that bag.’
But Judge Nicholas Heathcote Williams QC said it was ‘inconceivable’ that Kikwera wasn’t aware what was in the bag.
Ms Page added that Kikwera was a ‘hard-working, family man.’
Sentencing Kikwera, Judge Heathcote Williams QC said: ‘It is inconceivable that the bag was left by mistake or without your knowledge.
‘He was consigning the bag to you for delivery – your case was that you simply found the bag
‘You knew the bag was there but I am not sure you knew it contained a firearm and ammo.
‘This is not case where you thought what you were delivering was legal and you were a 32-year-old man with children.
‘You knew, or ought to have known, what you were carrying.
‘As persuasive and charming as [unnamed defendant] was, you were not an adolescent infatuated by an older man.’
Kikwera’s co-defendant fled to Dubai after realising his fate but was arrested when he returned a month later.
He made no comment in interview and refused to give officers access to his two iPhones.
But police experts hacked into the phones and found a gallery of images showing him posing at fire-ranges with handguns and firing them.
He claimed he had never touched a gun before but a diary entry on his phone read: ‘Sold guns to straight killers’.
Kikwera’s associate was convicted by a jury of possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life, possession of ammunition with intent to endanger life, and refusing to give up his mobile phone pin code.
He was jailed for 12 and a half years.
Kikwera, of North Finchley, was found guilty of possessing a prohibited firearm and possessing ammunition without a license.
He was jailed for five years.