A GIRL of 16 was unmasked as Britain's youngest gangster's moll after she was caught with a loaded gun — in her HANDBAG.
Stunned cops chanced upon the deadly weapon after they searched fresh-faced Chanelle Merryweather outside a church disco.
As they rifled through the youngster's white handbag they found her purse, mobile phone, lipstick... and a deadly 7.65mm Browning pistol.
Chanelle was 'minding' the shooter for thug fella Sammy Geldard, 19 — a member of Manchester's notorious Longsight Crew.
She now faces up to five years in jail after admitting possession of a firearm.
A court lifted a ban on identifying Chanelle today to spell out the dire consequences for young girls who carry weapons for their gangster boyfriends.
A police source said of the shocking find: "This episode is a just another frightening illustration of the routine carrying of firearms by young people on our streets.
"Sadly for some youngsters, the gun is just another glamorous accessory to be carried along with their mobile phone and iPods.
"It's even more tragic that young girls are prepared to carry them too."
Chanelle's conviction comes just days after Metropolitan Police chiefs warned of the growing number of young girls being coerced into carrying guns so their gangster partners can dodge the law.
She was nicked in April after an eyewitness spotted her and Geldard walking hand-in-hand outside a youth disco in the Brunswick area of Manchester — close to where the infamous gun mob Longsight Crew have their HQ.
When cops stopped the schoolgirl in the street they noticed the barrel poking out of her bag. The tearful youngster told them: "You know what it is - but it's not mine, I'm holding it for someone."
The Belgian made Fabrique Nationale Browning 7.65mm self loading pistol was loaded with two live rounds of ammunition — and was in perfect working order.
In interview Merryweather told detectives she only agreed to "mind" the weapon because she was scared of Geldard.
But photos found on her mobile phone revealed the young lovers making gun gestures with their hands and revelling in sick gang culture.
Judge Martin Steiger QC lifted an order banning identification of Merryweather, now 17, to send a warning to other young women.
He told Manchester Crown Court: "It is clear she was mixed up with dangerous gang members. Gun crime is a matter of very serious concern to the public."
Geldard of Ancoats, Manchester, claimed to have no knowledge of the gun but pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm.
It emerged he routinely wore a bullet proof vest and had only recently been released from prison after serving another sentence for possession of a firearm.
He was remanded in custody whilst Merryweather was given bail ahead of sentencing next month.
Click to view image: 'cbef306fa14d-chanellemerryweath_904768a.jpg'
|Liveleak on Facebook|