Second member of So Solid Crew given jail term for possessing loaded pistol

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The Independent Online

A second member of the controversial musical collective So Solid Crew was jailed yesterday after being found guilty of carrying a loaded handgun.

Jason Phillips, better known to his fans as G-Man, was given a four-year prison term at Southwark Crown Court after being caught with the weapon in the West End of London last November. The judge said the 24-year-old probably carried the gun, a modified Brocock pistol, out of "bravado and the thrill of having it".

Fifteen 15 months ago Ashley Walters, another performer with the garage act, was jailed for 18 months at the same court after he being convicted of possessing a semi-automatic firearm.

In recent months, So Solid Crew, which is made up of rappers, singers, DJs and producers, has joined campaigns to reduce gun crime, supporting a month-long gun amnesty and appearing at a government-backed concert.

Phillips, of Forest Hill, south London, was caught after police saw him and another member of the collective at a spot that was well known for drug dealing. When officers went to search Phillips, he ran away and dumped the gun - a converted air weapon - among some bags of rubbish. But the firearm was immediately discovered by the police, along with ammunition.

The Jamaican-born executive producer of the collective was found guilty of possessing a prohibited weapon and the seven rounds it contained. He denied the charges.

Passing sentence, Judge Wadsworth said: "You took a loaded gun into the West End and it was there, in circumstances in which there almost certainly were drugs around it and in circumstances in which you yourself were in possession of cannabis. Quite apart from the work you do in the music world, you are in a position from the way in which you have grown up in this town to know the immense dangers that there are in having that sort of weapon, loaded and well capable of being used to kill, though I accept that was probably not your intention that night."

He added: "I suspect you had it out of bravado and the thrill of having it, rather than the intention of using it. But the danger remains none the less. Had you thrown it away and it was found by someone other than the police, there is no knowing how that loaded gun may have been used."

The judge added that he was imposing the minimum sentence for the offence of illegally possessing a gun.

A spokesman for Phillips said his lawyers were considering an appeal.