Jailed: Luton gang member with loaded gun in pocket

A Luton gang member has been taken off the streets for six years after he was stopped by armed police who found him with a gun.

Malcolm Mangawa, 18, of Verde Close, Luton, was sentenced today (Friday, May 3) at Luton Crown Court after he pleaded guilty to three firearms offences at an earlier court appearance on March 22.

Malcolm Mangawa, 18, of Verde Close, Luton

Malcolm Mangawa, 18, of Verde Close, Luton

Mangawa was arrested in February in St Dominic’s Square after armed police stopped him. They were in the area after receiving a report that a man with a gun had got into a taxi, and were able to track the vehicle to the area.

As Mangawa matched the description they had been given, he was stopped.

Officers handcuffed him, and when he was asked if he had anything on him that he shouldn’t have, he told officers that he had a gun.

A loaded firearm was found in his pocket.

The gun.

The gun.

When he was questioned he said having previously been stabbed and shot, he said he was carrying the weapon for his own protection.

He was charged with possession of a weapon and possession of ammunition. At the same time, he was charged with possession of ammunition following an incident in August 2018.

On August 5, a vehicle made off from police and the occupants abandoned the car. It was on false plates and was later found crashed into a lamp post on Willow Road in Luton.

Inside the car, officers found a black bag that contained a plastic tub with around 14 rifle cartridges inside. A finger mark found on the bag matched a print from Mangawa.

He was jailed for six years for the firearm offence. For both ammunition charges he was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment to run concurrently.

Detective Chief Inspector Duncan Young from Boson, the force’s team dedicated to tackling guns and gangs, said: “Mangawa told officers that he was carrying a gun for his own protection; because of that decision he’ll now spend a significant amount of time behind bars. Mangawa was actively involved in a gang, and while gang culture can be alluring at first it also poses significant risks and dangers to individuals.

“While we will remain open minded should anyone approach us because they’re concerned about their safety, we will also continue to pursue anyone who thinks it’s acceptable to carry a weapon in our county. Boson have achieved some significant prison sentences recently, and I hope we’re sending a message that we will work tirelessly to tackle anyone who threatens the safety of our communities – particularly those involved in gang, drugs, and weapon criminality.

“I’m really grateful to the member of the public who reported the initial sighting of a man with a gun. It’s important that the public continue to report any information about guns or weapons. If you don’t feel you can speak to us safely, please call Crimestoppers – they are an independent charity and you can speak to them anonymously. We will never find out who you are, but any information you give could prove vital in helping us keep our communities safe.”

If you suspect someone is in possession of a firearm call the police immediately on 999. Alternatively call independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.