A SALE man arrested in a dramatic chase has been given a prison sentence after trying to hide a gun from police in North Manchester.

Mohammed Shabaz Rafiq, 24, of Wharf Road, was sentenced to five years in prison at Manchester Crown Court after pleading guilty to possession of a firearm.

At around 5.30pm on March 24, Rafiq came to the attention of three officers on patrol in Harpurhey as one of a number of people who were acting suspiciously.

PCs Jack Ginger, Jessica Hamblet and Richard Hayes were turning onto Moss Brook Road to investigate when there was a loud bang, which is believed to have been a gunshot.

The three officers then saw Rafiq running from the area carrying a black bin bag.

They identified themselves to Rafiq, who ran onto Whiteway Street and tried to get into a Ford Focus.

However, he failed and the vehicle drove away, mounting the pavement to avoid the chasing officers.

Finally, the officers were able to catch Rafiq and arrest him.

They found the discarded bin bag containing a gun and an empty cartridge nearby.

Detective Constable Liam Carolan of North Manchester's Disruption Team said: "This is another fantastic result for the people of Greater Manchester where we've removed a firearm from the streets and found those responsible.

Messenger Newspapers:

"The quick thinking and bravery of the three officers at the scene could've arguably saved a life that day. They're a credit to GMP and the people of North Manchester and have helped to ensure we've taken another criminal involved in firearms off the streets who so desperately tried to get away.

"GMP is absolutely committed to making Greater Manchester a safer place to work and live and there is continuous work going on to tackle gun crime which is one of our priorities.

"In the space of a year, we've taken over 100 firearms off the streets of Greater Manchester and have teams of detectives striving to bring those involved in such crime to justice every day."