Kesgrave shooting: Victim's family's '75 days of hell'
- Credit: Archant
The father of a teenage boy who was shot in the face at close range in Kesgrave said his son "will never have the life he was destined for".
On the day the boy who fired a double-barrelled shotgun at his son's face was due to be sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court, the dad read his emotional victim impact statement in person.
The sentence of the 16-year-old, who was 15 at the time of the shooting in Friends Walk, Kesgrave, on September 7 last year and cannot be named, was adjourned until September 24 at Ipswich Crown Court.
The victim, who was also aged 15 at the time, suffered "life-changing injuries" in the attack on September 7 last year.
He has undergone 15 operations between September 2020, and June 2021, which included major surgery on his jaw and skull.
He can walk short distances but is unable to use his left arm and requires support for day-to-day activities, the court heard.
He also has cognitive difficulties and further surgeries are planned in the future, prosecutor Riel Karmy-Jones QC told the court.
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In his personal statement, the victim's father said the events will "haunt him forever".
He said his son will "never have the life he was destined for" and described the time he spent at his child's hospital bedside following the shooting as "75 days of hell".
In a personal impact statement read in court by Ms Karmy-Jones, the teenage victim said the attack had "ruined his career aspirations" and meant he is "no longer able to pursue" his various passions.
He said the "callous" attack has left him "picking up the pieces" of his life.
The victim's mother described him as "a young man who had so much talent, who worked so hard during lockdown" in her statement which was read to the court.
She said that "our world was shattered", describing his attacker as "evil, full of hatred".
The victim's brother also read his statement to the court and said the "gruesome and devastating attack" had "stolen so much" from his family.
In a further statement read by Ms Karmy-Jones, a schoolgirl who fled the scene after hearing gunfire and being told to run by the teenager, said she has been unable to walk to school since.
During the month-long trial, prosecutors told the jury how the teenager had set out to kill the victim after planning the attack for a year.
Following the shooting, witnesses described the defendant as standing near the victim, who was lying in a pool of blood, with “no sense of urgency” and “appeared to have all day”.
A friend of both boys later told police that he had been planning the attack for a year but had wrongly assumed he was joking.
Ms Karmy-Jones QC, prosecuting, told the court that the defendant took his grandfather’s double barrelled shotgun and drove to Friends Walk in Grange Farm, Kesgrave, in his father’s car.
He lay in wait for him for more than an hour and when he saw the boy, who was a pupil at Kesgrave High School, at around 8.40am, he ordered him to get in the car.
The victim refused and was then shot at close range resulting in a “significant" injury to the side of his face.
Giving evidence during the trial, the defendant denied deliberately firing the gun at the victim.
He claimed the victim had subjected him to years of “humiliation and fear” and said he had planned to kidnap him and threaten him with a gun to teach him a lesson.
Police located the car the teenager had been driving in Ipswich two hours later and had to smash the window to get him out.
A Beretta double-barrelled shotgun was found in the car along with two boxes of shotgun cartridges.
When the teenager was told he was being arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, he told officers: "I am 100% guilty of that. I've done what I wanted to do - scummy as though it is.”
He told officers that he had taken two of his mother’s anti-depressant tablets that morning.
The court heard that experts estimated the muzzle of the gun was between 0.75m and 1.5m away from the victim’s face when it was fired.
The boy's grandfather appeared before Suffolk Magistrates' Court in July and pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to comply with conditions of a shotgun certificate.
The pensioner had his firearms licence revoked following the shooting and magistrates heard he would not seek to appeal the decision.
He was fined £500 and ordered to pay £105 in costs and a £50 victim surcharge.