Wellingborough gang member who smashed car window with gun was already banned for life from owning firearms

‘He’s got a f****** gun. Drive!’

Monday, 30th May 2022, 6:34 am
The gang was seen running out of an alleyway close to a residential car park in Newcomen Road, Wellingborough.
The gang was seen running out of an alleyway close to a residential car park in Newcomen Road, Wellingborough.

A man who had previously served time for shooting a 15-year-old in the leg used a gun to intimidate a couple driving home through the streets of Wellingborough.

Daniel John Stray had previously given a lifetime ban from ever owning or possessing any kind of firearm including an air rifle after he was convicted of GBH with a sawn-off shotgun on the Hemmingwell estate back in 2017.

But Northampton Crown Court heard how, on March 4 last year, a man and woman were travelling home through Wellingborough at about 9.10pm when they saw a group of men running out of an alleyway and getting into a VW Polo.

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Daniel John Stray of Cedar Way, Wellingborough has been jailed again for firearms offences

Worried, they drove off before returning to Newcomen Road about 15 minutes later where they again saw the Polo which then mounted the kerb in an attempt to stop them in to prevent them from driving off.

A man they knew to be Daniel John Stray, of Cedar Way, Wellingborough, appeared on foot and banged on their window three or four times with a gun, causing damage to the window.

The victim shouted to his female driver: “He’s got a f****** gun. Drive!”

The driver of the VW Polo again tried to manoeuvre their vehicle to block them in but the female driver managed to get away and the male passenger phoned 999. He was able to tell police the name of the gunman and then the pair drove straight to the police station for their own safety.

Officers were able to go straight to Parkins Close and in the early hours they found a box in the defendant’s living room cupboard containing a knife, ammunition including shotgun cartridges and three nine mm rounds compatible with a handgun they found.

Later analysis showed the gun to be a Retay 17 pistol which had been adapted to look like a Glock. It was capable of firing live ammunition and police experts said it was capable of causing life-altering injuries.

Although it is legal to import a blank-firing Retay into the UK, it is not legal to convert it to fire live rounds or to look like a weapon.

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Prosecuting, Caroline Bray said: “Stray’s phone was also seized. Its contents demonstrated history with a criminal gang-related lifestyle and behaviour.”

Stray, 25, has a list of 22 convictions for violence and drug offences.

When he was just 13 in 2010 he was found guilty of robbery.

Back in 2015 he was convicted by Northampton Crown Court for possession of a sawn-off shotgun when he was just 18-years-old and sentenced to five years in jail. Two years later, after police had painstakingly gathered evidence, Stray stood trial for the shooting of a 15-year-old in the leg on the Hemmingwell Estate, linked to the same gun. After a seven-day trial he was found guilty by a jury of wounding with intent to commit GBH, jailed for three years, and made a prohibited person – which means he was banned from ever owning or possessing a gun.

He had also been convicted in 2016 of possession of a knife,

During Friday’s court hearing, the female driver of the car said she had felt anxious and nervous since the attack and as if people were ‘looking at her’. She has also stayed at home more and said she is now worried about going out in Wellingborough.

Ms Bray added: “People won’t go to her house anymore because they are worried about what she’s become a part of.”

The male victim said that last August, people associated with Stray were released from prison with no bail conditions leaving him vulnerable.

“I still feel like a victim,” he said.

He said he was having trouble sleeping and had been forced to seek professional help to aid his recovery. His relationship had also broken down.

In mitigation, higher court advocate Liam Muir said that there was insufficient evidence to show Stray had been attempting to steal the victim’s car or that he was involved with the group in the Polo.

He said that, since the incident, Stray had become a father for the first time and there had been a ‘substantial change in maturity.’

Stray, who is also known as Daniel John Jones, Daniel John Jones-Stray and Daniel Jones-Stray, pleaded guilty to being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm and of ammunition. He also admitted being in possession of a firearm and ammunition with intent to cause his victim to believe unlawful violence would be used against him.

Her Honour Judge Rebecca Crane gave him 25 per cent credit foe his guilty plea and jailed him for six years and nine months in total.

He was told he must serve half of the sentence before he will become eligible to be released on licence.

In 2020, police linked an uptick in violent crimes in Wellingborough to a increase in gang activity. They said that there was an ongoing turf war between gangs on the Queensway and Hemmingwell estates including those linked to the TRU group – short for Trapperz R Us.

In summer of that year, our reporters went out on a series of raids with the police officers trying to get a grip of those involved in gang activity who had refused to accept a way out offered by officers.