A man who stood as a Conservative candidate in Corby Council elections has been jailed for 16 years for selling guns which were used in gangland shootings.
Marcus Simpson, 42, of Kempston Close, on the Oakley Vale estate, was sentenced at Wood Green Crown Court at the end of a six-week trial.
He was one of a group of men responsible for selling firearms and ammunition, some of which were used in a number of gang-related shootings in Chingford.
On Tuesday (August 6), they were sentenced to a total of 88 years.
Leader of the Conservative group on Corby Council, David Sims, said Simpson, who lost out to Liberal Democrat Bob Riley by about 170 votes in the 2011 election, was vetted by the party before he stood as a candidate.
Cllr Sims said: “When Marcus Simpson was selected as a candidate to stand for Corby Borough Council the Corby Conservatives were not aware of his criminal activity.
“Simpson has not been involved with the Corby Conservatives since the 2011 local election and his crimes did not come to light until after his involvement with the local party had ceased.
“All Conservative candidates are required to sign a declaration of good character before they are permitted to stand and Simpson was no exception.
“We are absolutely appalled that Simpson portrayed himself to us as a man of good character and we entirely condemn the crimes of which he has been convicted.”
Police said the sentencing brought to a close a complex 14-month investigation by specialist officers from the Trident Gang Command who were investigating three linked shootings in the Chingford Hall Estate in April last year.
Officers believe that the shootings took place because of an internal conflict between members of a local Chingford based gang.
During the investigation officers recovered six lethal firearms and a large amount of ammunition.
Simpson, who is believed to be married with two children, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess firearms with intent to endanger life, two counts of possession of ammunition without a certificate, two counts of possessing a firearm and one count of possessing a prohibited firearm.
Det Insp Steve Meechan of the Trident Gang Crime Command East Proactive Team, said: “This was a lengthy and protracted investigation into a dispute between members of the same gang. Gang lifestyles can often be chaotic and lead to serious violence and this case goes some way in demonstrating the complex nature of Trident’s investigations.
“The criminal activity of those convicted has caused misery to local residents and the local area, creating a hostile place to live due to their violence, criminality and anti-social behaviour.
“There have been no shootings on the Chingford Hall Estate since the last three shootings that took place in April 2012.
“The sentencing should send out a clear message to gang members that tackling gang-related violence remains a key priority for the MPS. Trident officers will continue to target and convict those who are involved in gang criminality, carry weapons and cause harm in London’s communities.”
Also sentenced were Ryan Groves, 39, of Lydford Road, Tottenham, who was sentenced to 12 years, Jerome Minott, 27, of Avenue Road, Acton, who was sentenced to 12 years, Anthony Bennett, 28, of Beechfield Walk, Waltham Abbey, who was sentenced to 14 years, Marcus Paul, 19, of Nelson Road, Chingford, who was sentenced to 12 years, Dylan Addo, 20, of St Patricks Court, Bridle Path, Epping, who was sentenced to 12 years, Jeffrey Larbi, 19, of Walmer Close, Chingford, who was jailed for 10 years, Jadine Mills, 22, of Hall Lane, Chingford, who was sentenced to a total of 21 years and Ritchie Ibeawuchi, 23, of Hazel Way, London, who was sentenced to a total of 24 years,
They either admitted or were found guilty of possessing firearms and ammunition.