Police are hunting a man who fled while on trial after being caught with a gun in Walthamstow.

Yusuf Ahmed – who fled in the third week of the trial and has been sentenced in his absence – and Ibrahim Cabdulgadir were found in possession of a handgun while driving down Billet Road last year.

Ahmed and Cabdulgadir, both 26 years old, were jailed for 13 years and nine-and-a-half years respectively.

On March 6, 2018, armed police stopped a black vehicle travelling along Billet Road.

Ahmed and Candulgadir, who was driving, were detained and searched.

Under one of the rear passenger seats, officers found a loaded gun wrapped in a plastic bag.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Ibrahim Cabdulgadir was jailed for nine-and-a-half years. Photo: Met Police

Forensic testing revealed Ahmed’s DNA on the bag, the gun and the ammunition inside the magazine of the weapon.

The court heard on three different occasions Ahmed tried to buy ammunition from legitimate gun shops.

Officers believe Ahmed was attempting to arm himself in retaliation for a violent incident he was involved in February 2018.

During the trial he told the court he was trying to buy body armour, not weapons.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

The gun recovered from the vehicle Ahmed and Cabdulgadir were travelling in. Photo Met Police

On Thursday, November 21, Ahmed, of Aldenham Street, St Pancras, was sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court for possession of a firearm and ammunition with intent to endanger life.

Cabdulgadir, of West Hendon Broadway, Edgware, was sentenced for possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Detective Inspector Victoria Sullivan, from Central Specialist Crime, said: ““A lethal weapon like the one these men were found in possession of has absolutely no place on the streets of London. By removing it, I have no doubt these officers have saved a number of lives from being lost.

“Yusuf Ahmed fled in the third week of his trial, but the evidence put forward against him was so strong he was convicted and has now been sentenced in his absence. It is imperative he is located and faces the consequences of his reckless actions.

“I know someone out there will have seen him around or know of his current whereabouts and we need to hear from these people so that my officers can arrest him and ensure he serves the sentence which has been handed down by the judge.”

“The police cannot solve violent crime alone, communities have a vital part to play and I would urge anyone with information to call 999 immediately quoting reference number 02SD/741287. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. They do not ask your name and cannot trace your call.”