A Manchester man who threw a bag packed with a loaded shotgun while taking officers on a car chase near the Trafford Centre in May has been jailed.

Daniel Murdoch, 41, was sentenced at Manchester Crown Court to six years and six months yesterday (Wednesday 3 November 2021) after admitting to possessing ammunition whilst prohibited, possession of a prohibited firearm, possession of a loaded shotgun in a public place, and dangerous driving.

The court heard details of how Murdoch’s arrest following the pursuit led investigators to not only source a loaded shotgun discarded near to the scene, but also discover a further shotgun inside his address in Stockport, two days later.

The verdict follows a five-month investigation by detectives from CID and officers from GMP’s Challenger department tackling serious and organised crime in Trafford.

Murdoch came to our attention in the Eccles area of Salford on the afternoon of Sunday 9 May when an officer spotted his white VW Golf driving suspiciously and going through a red light on Liverpool Road.

When Murdoch was pulled over by officers he appeared intoxicated before he accelerated off reaching speeds of 80mph in a 30 zone.

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Police pursued Murdoch towards the Trafford Centre, when an officer noticed a bag being thrown from the VW onto the roundabout, which soon transpired to be containing a shotgun inside.

After damaging two vehicles when driving between vehicles and over footpaths to reach the nearby petrol station, Murdoch ran away from his car while being chased by a member of the public.

A Sergeant nearby Tasered Murdoch to reduce his threat to the public before he was arrested on suspicion of firearms offences.

Subsequent searches were carried out at addresses falsely given by Murdoch while he was in custody over the next two days, before detectives’ enquiries located his fixed abode on Gorton Road in the North Reddish area of Stockport on the evening of Tuesday 11 May.

It was in that address was a sawn-off shotgun – marked with the words ‘f**k the police’ – was located and seized in evidence before being found to have Murdoch’s DNA on the trigger.

When interviewed, Murdoch initially confessed to possessing the weapons but stated he was pressured to keep them due to a substantial drugs debt he had accumulated.

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He then proceeded to offer no comment when further questioned by detectives before he ultimately pleaded guilty at court to possessing ammunition whilst prohibited, possession of a prohibited firearm, possession of a loaded shotgun in a public place and dangerous driving.

Yesterday at court, Murdoch was ordered to serve six years six months in jail and disqualified from driving for six years and three months.

Detective Constable David Jarvis, of GMP Trafford’s Challenger team, said: “Murdoch’s erratic actions behind the wheel that afternoon caused havoc for those near to the Trafford Centre and beyond, but it could have been unthinkably worse with a man as reckless as him in possession of a loaded firearm, too.

“Our priority is to always do our utmost to keep the public safe, and all involved in this incident did what they could in order to prevent any serious escalation in what had the potential to be a volatile situation.

“The quick-thinking of our officers thankfully ensured that no one came to harm, and the tireless work of detectives thereafter has taken two lethal weapons from the streets and put a dangerous man behind bars.”