A pensioner who sold so many weapons and homemade bullets to dangerous criminals across the UK he was singlehandidly linked to a rise in gun crime has been found guilty of a string of offences.
Paul Edmunds, 66, has been found guilty of selling firearms and homemade ammunition after an investigation was launched by West Midlands police.
Officers connected ammunition made by Edmunds in his Gloucester village to more than 100 shootings in the UK, including three murders.
The "firearms fanatic" handcrafted bullets to be used for vintage guns like Smith & Wesson revolvers and antique, obsolete-calibre revolvers – including St Etienne. 9.4mm Dutch and .44 Russian military revolvers dating back to the 1870s – which he brought into the country legally as collector's items.
Edmunds also imported prohibited guns from the US having falsely signed customs paperwork claiming they were antiques.
Once he created the bullets for the vintage weapons, Edmunds sold them to physiotherapist Dr Mohinder Surdhar – whom he met at a Birmingham gun fair in 2008 – who in turn sold them to crime gangs.
A total of 17 guns imported by Edmunds from the US and more than 1,000 rounds of his homemade bullets have been recovered by police from crime scenes across the UK.
These include the shooting of Kenichi Phillips in Ladywood in Birmingham last March as well as the shooting of Derek Myers in West Midland's Soho Hill in October 2015.
One of Edmunds's smuggled Colt Police Positive pistols was also used to kill a man at a Christmas night party in London's Avalon nightclub in December 2013.
When Edmunds was arrested in July 2015, more than 100,000 rounds of ammunition were recovered from inside his Hardwicke home .
Edmunds was found guilty of transfer prohibited firearms and ammunition following a trail at Birmingham Crown Court. Surdhar, 56, from Grove Lane, Handsworth, had already admitted the same offence.
Edmunds was also found guilty on two counts of perverting the course of justice in relation to doctoring his firearms register in an attempt to cover his tracks.
Both men are due to be sentenced in December.
Detective Constable Phil Rodgers from West Midlands Police Regional Crime Unit, who led the investigation, said: "They were like the Breaking Bad of the gun world – on the face of it both decent men but using their skills and expertise to provide deadly firearms.
"But this was no TV drama – these were real weapons; real bullets; real victims. Their actions have had a devastating impact on communities by fuelling violent crime, leading to fear and bloodshed.
"Edmunds has an encyclopaedic knowledge of firearms. It's not an easy task making obsolete calibre bullets to fit antique guns; it would have taken several days to make a box of 50. Surdar also had an armoury at his home and we believe Edmunds was teaching him the art of bullet making.
"Our investigation has undoubtedly prevented many more firearms and countless rounds of ammunition getting into criminal hands...and in all likelihood saved lives."
Rodgers added: "Edmunds claimed he had no idea Surdar was passing the guns to criminals. We didn't believe him and clearly neither did the jury.
"In interview he spoke candidly about his disdain for the UK's strict laws on firearms and the handgun ban introduced in the wake of the Dunblane tragedy.
"And he's used his position of authority in the firearms world to help him bring guns into the country undetected.
"It's hard to overstate the significance of these convictions: we have cut off a major firearms supply chain and one that's been used by dangerous men to commit serious offences."