Three men have been jailed for running a 'gun factory' out of a flat and garage in the Windsor area - with firearms linked to the gang ending up as far afield as Merseyside.

Damon Denham, 36, of Common Road, Slough, appeared via video link at Reading Crown Court today (March 1) for sentencing.

He was joined by his co-defendants, Chad Blackwell, 34, of Ashford in Surrey, and Daniel Boyd, 42, of Talbot Place, Datchet.

The trio admitted to charges of conspiracy to sell or transfer prohibited arms and ammunition.

The court heard that they used Boyd's ground-floor flat in Datchet as a workshop, converting deactivated guns to fire live ammunition.

The property was raided by police on October 11 last year.

18 converted pistols were found at the apartment, and a further 56 at a garage in Ash Lane, Windsor, rented in the name of a relative of Boyd.

The weapons were destined to be sold on the black market.

A gun with Boyd's DNA on it was recovered by police in the Merseyside area - and another was used by a 15-year-old in a shooting in London.

Sentencing the gang today, Judge Kirsty Real remarked on the sophistication of the operation, which was active throughout 2023.

The delivery of guns to buyers was handled via a telephone group chat the three men were all part of.

Some of the sales were directed by unidentified individuals who, bizarrely, nicknamed themselves after notorious criminals - including 'Jacques Mesrine' and 'Diveroli.'

This factor, in particular, pointed to a much wider criminal network, and has complicated the prosecution's efforts to pin down a ringleader among the three men.

Judge Real described Denham as playing a "significant" role in the operation, noting that he kept extensive financial records on behalf of the gang.

But she emphasised that he could not be described as a "leading" figure, and accepted that the group may have been answerable to more powerful criminals.

The court heard it has been equally difficult to establish who was physically reactivating the guns, although tools seized from the flat and garage indicated firearms were being converted there.

Police had traced a number of weapons sold by the men, revealing the scope of the operation.

A handgun with Boyd's DNA on it was found at the home address of a 15-year-old boy in Peckham in 2023.

Earlier on the same day, the teenager had fired upon a group standing outside a nearby Domino's Pizza restaurant.

Another pistol linked to the Windsor gang was seized by police in the Merseyside area.

Both Boyd and Blackwell have maintained they became involved in the illegal arms trade in order to settle drug debts.

Boyd's barrister, Tom Acworth, played down his role, insisting that his client was paid very little for his role in the gang.

Mr Acworth said: "He [Boyd] was not receiving thousands of pounds. He was not even receiving hundreds of pounds. He was paid very little for his involvement."

Michael Hillman, who defended Blackwell, made similar remarks, describing his client as a "foot-soldier" with a modest income and lifestyle.

Judge Real told the defendants: "All three of you were in close and regular telephone contact with each-other - I'm told you were friends, in any event."

Judge Real sentenced Blackwell to 11 years and three months behind bars.

Boyd will serve eight years and three months in prison, while Denham was jailed for 13 years and one month.

They will each serve at least half their sentences on licence in the community.