Youth faces sentencing for flaunting guns on Panorama

A teenage gang member who claims he was paid £50 to brandish guns on a BBC Panorama programme about problems on Merseyside is to be sentenced.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be identified because of his age, was filmed assembling a shotgun for the programme about guns and gang culture.

After the Young Guns programme was broadcast in July last year, Merseyside Police launched an investigation and the youth was tracked down.

The teenager, a member of the Marsh Gang, pleaded guilty last month to possession of a shotgun, a handgun and ammunition.

In mitigation, accepted by the prosecution, Jason Smith, defending, told Liverpool Crown Court the youth was paid £50 by an intermediary acting on behalf of Panorama’s producers.

Smith said: “The defence contention is not that he was paid directly by the Panorama film producers but he was paid money by an intermediary who had been paid money to fix it on their behalf.

“He was provided the firearms to display on camera, although he was associated with the gang and they were firearms owned by the gangs, he was given them to flaunt on camera.”

Merseyside Police said it was looking into the youth’s claims to establish who was involved in the alleged transaction.

The BBC has said the programme complied with its editorial guidelines. When the claims were made, a spokeswoman said: “If any payments were made to the gunman, we had no knowledge of them.”

The youth will be sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court by Judge Graham Morrow.

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