To many people, the land of Robin Hood, Little John & Will Scarlet being labelled the one time "gun capital of Britain" would be ludicrous. This should apply to London, Liverpool, Glasgow & Manchester, but Nottingham? Surely some huge mistake. Sadly it was not. Two brothers from the Bestwood estate, Colin & David Gunn, showed just how violent, organised crime is everywhere. They were born in 1965 (David) & 1967(Colin) on the Bestwood estate, where by the early 90`s they were making a bit of a reputation for themselves with thefts, burglaries, stolen goods, and naturally, violence.
By 1997, they had upped the ante by getting immersed in the drugs world and spread their tentacles to include extortion, robbery, loan sharking, fraud and ringing of cars. It is claimed that Colin Gunn amassed a multi-million pound fortune. A blip in their activities occurred in November 1998, when David Gunn received a prison sentence of 4 years 9 months for grievous bodily harm and threats to kill a man called keith Copeland, after a fight outside a pub. Colin Gunn put his extensive knowledge of the underworld to use by becoming a registered police informer! He supplied top notch information that was designed to take his rivals off the streets. Pretty much what many drug pushers do now.
It was August 2003, and a friend of the Gunns, 22 year old Marvyn Bradshaw was shot dead. However, it was believed that the wrong man had been killed, and the actual target was alleged to have been the Gunns` nephew, Jamie Gunn. The triggerman, Michael O`Brien was arrested and charged with murder, and was jailed for life. Whilst in the court, O`Brien taunted both the family of the victim and Colin Gunn himself. A year later, John & Joan Stirland were shot dead, in the village of Trusthorpe. Colin Gunn, Michael McNee & John Russell for jailed for 35 years for conspiracy to murder. Joan Stirland was the mother of O`Brien. After the trial, rioting broke out on the Bestwood by supporters of the Gunns. Colin Gunn was shipped off to Long lartin prison in Leicester, then transferred to high security Belmarsh prison in South London. It is feared by authorities that escape is his only thought.
David Gunn was jailed for supplying amphetamine, and another man involved in the Bradshaw murder, Gary Salmon, received a life sentence. Newspaper reports claimed that Gunn had fifty gun-toting henchmen at his beck and call, and it moved Nottingham into the realms of a gangland city.