A Bulwell mum who hid a sawn-off shotgun used in a drive-by shooting under her bed can have no complaint about her tough jail term, top judges have ruled.
Kirsty Brealey (23) was caught with cocaine in her handbag before police found the deadly weapon she had concealed for a criminal friend, after it was used to blast a house during a drug feud.
Brealey, of Broad Eadow Road, was handed five years behind bars at Nottingham Crown Court in November, last year, after she admitted possession of a firearm and possession of a class A drug with intent to supply.
Three senior judges at London’s Appeal Court have now rejected a sentence challenge by Brealey, saying her jail term was thoroughly deserved.
Mr Justice Simon said Brealey was caught with about 100 grams of cocaine, split into dealer bags beside scales and a spoon in her handbag, when police raided the home of Declan Madigan, in December, 2011.
Officers then searched Brealey’s home and discovered a “sawn off, pump-action shotgun” with a spent cartridge wrapped in a plastic bag under her bed, the appeal judge added.
Madigan (27) had ordered an attacker to use the gun to fire shots at a house in Aspley, in connection with a drugs dispute in November, 2011. The weapon was then handed in a bag to Brealey to be stashed.
Madigan, of Lyle Close, Kimberley, was later handed 11 years behind bars after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent to endanger life, using a person to hide a firearm and drugs charges.
Brealey, who was pregnant when she pleaded guilty to the offences, had to wait more than a year to be sentenced. Her baby was born by the time she was sent to prison.
On appeal, Brealey’s lawyers argued that the sentencing judge failed to have proper regard to the time that had elapsed since her pleas and to the needs of her baby, who is being cared for by her parents.
“The difficulty with these arguments is that, in his very full sentencing remarks, the judge made it plain that he had considered them and taken them into account,” Mr Justice Simon said.
He added that the judge was also entitled to find there were no “exceptional circumstances” that would allow him to impose a term below the minimum statutory five-year stretch reserved for gun possession.
The appeal judge, sitting with Lady Justice Sharp and Judge Peter Collier QC, concluded: “For all these reasons, this renewed application to appeal against sentence is refused.”