Coach to World Champion Boxer, Terrence Crawford, received a Suspended Sentence for being in possession of a firearm at Manchester Airport
October 13, 2023
In early September 2023 one of the most prominent and influential figures in the boxing world, Brian ‘BoMac’ McIntyre was arrested for possession of a firearm and ammunition. The automatic self-loading Smith and Wesson firearm, together with seven rounds of ammunition, was still in the zip compartment of his suitcase as McIntyre went through security at Manchester Airport before his return flight to the US.
BoMac gained worldwide recognition for leading Team Crawford, training the undisputed welterweight world champion Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford. Crawford has held multiple world championships in three weight categories and is recognised as the best pound for pound active boxer in the world.
BoMac has gone on to train the likes of British Olympic medallist Amir Khan, Chris ‘Next Gen’ Eubank Jnr and Steven ‘So Cold’ Nelson. In addition to the achievements listed above BoMac and his excellent team look after for many up and coming boxers.
Following his arrest on 3 September 2023, BoMac was charged with possession of both a firearm and ammunition and was remanded into custody. Partner, Gary Bloxsome and Senior Associate, Jennifer Richardson were instructed thereafter to represent BoMac.
Possession of a prohibited firearm in the UK carries a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment in the UK, and in circumstances where s.311 of the Sentencing Act 2000 applied, the court must impose an appropriate custodial sentence for a term of at least the required minimum term (5 years), unless the court is satisfied that there are exceptional circumstances which:
- Relate to the offence or the offender, and;
- Justify not doing so.
In relation to point (a) above exceptional circumstances can apply to both the offence or the offender and as such a detailed analysis of the circumstances must be undertaken to assess not only what occurred during the commission of the offence, but also the personal circumstances of the offender.
UK law recognises that not every case is uniform and that whilst possession of a prohibited firearm is a strict liability offence, when it comes to sentencing and application of the mandatory term of imprisonment, each case must be assessed on its individual circumstances.
In this case, those circumstances were exceptional.
Gary Bloxsome and Jennifer Richardson together with Paul Greaney KC presented evidence on behalf of BoMac including oral testimony from several prominent and professional individuals who, at their own expense, had travelled from the US to support BoMac. In addition a further 65 individuals came forward to provide written character evidence in support of BoMac. The combination of legal submissions and mitigation satisfied the court that there were exceptional circumstances relating to both the circumstances of the offence and the individual.
The character evidence provided to the Court was not limited to BoMac’s professional achievements in the boxing world, but focused predominantly on the work he undertakes in his community in North Omaha, Nebraska. BoMac together with Terrence ‘Bud’ Crawford founded the B&B Sporting Academy in 2008. This academy provides a safe space any young persons in the local community, where they are taught how to use sports as a positive outlet, but more importantly, they are provided with a support network, and opportunities, which they might otherwise lack in their lives.
The Recorder of Manchester, His Honour Judge Dean KC in his compelling and concise sentencing remarks described BoMac as:
“Testament to the redemptive power of boxing as a discipline… more than that, you in your work are a power, a significant power for the good of your community. You are in short a good man. A thoroughly good man. I won’t repeat the testimony of those who came to court today. It speaks for itself. It is rare for a court to be confronted with mitigation in terms of your personal circumstances and character as powerful as that which has been presented to me today.”
Blackfords LLP are recognised and acknowledged as one of the leading UK firms dealing with multi-jurisdictional criminal and dispute resolution cases. Blackfords LLP often work in collaboration with top attorneys from other jurisdictions and this case was no exception.
This result could not have been achieved without the unprecedented support that we received from Mr McIntyre’s US attorneys, family, friends and colleagues.