Kesgrave shooting: Teenager found guilty of attempted murder
- Credit: Archant
A teenager who lay in wait for a friend as he walked to school and “calmly” shot him in the face at close range causing devastating injuries has been found guilty of attempted murder.
A jury at Ipswich Crown Court also found the 16-year-old boy guilty of possessing a shotgun with intent to endanger life.
The teenager, who was 15 at the time of the shooting in Friends Walk, Kesgrave, on September 7 last year and cannot be named because of his age, had denied the charges.
He was found guilty of attempted murder by an 11-1 majority verdict. The jury unanimously found him guilty of possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life and found him not guilty of possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence to a man who witnessed the incident.
The defendant had earlier pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm with intent to cause the victim of the shooting fear of violence.
The jury took more than 22 hours over five days to reach their verdicts.
During the month long trial it was claimed that the teenager had set out to kill the victim after planning the attack for a year.
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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 planning the attack for a year but had wrongly assumed he was joking.
Riel Karmy-Jones QC, prosecuting, told the court that on September 7 last year 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 boy, also aged 15, refused and was then shot at close range resulting in a “significant" injury to the side of his face.
The court heard that he recalled hearing a bang and falling to the ground and seeing the defendant standing nearby looking “calm and collected and not bothered”.
He suffered a stroke after being taken to hospital and had been left partially paralysed with some brain damage and wasn’t fit enough to attend court.
Ms Karmy-Jones said the teenager had been taught how taught how to use a gun by his grandfather and had "set out to kill" the boy after carefully planning what he was going to do.
She said that a friend of the boys had told police there had been some "low-level" bullying by the victim, who he described as having the stronger character, towards the defendant but it hadn’t been serious enough to justify shooting him.
The friend said that a year before the attack the defendant had allegedly told him he wanted to shoot someone and that he was going to try and get a gun but he had dismissed it as fantasy.
The defendant had later told him he had chosen the victim as the person he was going to shoot and kill.
He said the defendant had practiced shooting a BB gun at targets in his bedroom and on one occasion had shot him in the chest.
He had also allegedly told him he was going to carry out his plan to shoot the victim the next day.
Following the attack witnesses and members of the boy’s family had rushed to the scene and tried administer first-aid.
The court heard that when the victim’s mother saw the defendant and asked him what he’d done he’d lifted up the gun to show it to her and had a “smug and righteous” look on his face.
A 12-year-old girl, who was also on her way to school, saw the teenager pointing a gun at the boy as she walked past.
She heard the gunshot and turned around to see a wound to the victim's face and neck, the court heard.
The teenager stood there with the shotgun and told her to run, Ms Karmy Jones said.
A man also looked out of his window upon hearing the bang and saw the teenager standing there with the gun, the court heard.
The teenager then pointed the shotgun at him, and was described as being "calm and cool" and never rushed.
Other people who witnessed parts of the aftermath described the teenager as having no sense of urgency and "behaving like he had all day".
He had then put the firearm in the boot of the car and had driven away in a “ deliberate and non urgent” manner, the court heard.
Police located the car he had been driving in Ipswich two hours later and had to smash the window to get the teenager 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.
Ms Karmy-Jones said that experts had estimated that the muzzle of the gun was between 0.75 and 1.5m away from the victim’s face when it was fired.
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.
He said that after driving to Friends Walk in Kesgrave in his father’s car with his grandfather’s double barrelled shotgun he had confronted the boy and told him to get in the car.
When he refused, he had taken the loaded gun out of the car and pointed it at the boy who was standing near the front of the car on the passenger side.
“I was panicking because he didn’t get in the car. I thought I could scare him into the car with the shotgun.”
He said he was “ very stressed” and tense and couldn’t say exactly how the trigger came to be pulled.
He denied firing the gun deliberately at the boy and wanting to kill him and said it had taken him by surprise when the gun went off.
He accepted that he hadn’t tried to help the injured boy and said that he hadn’t immediately left the area after the shooting because he was in a state of “shock and disbelief” at what had happened.
He said he’d planned to get the boy in his car and drive him to Rendlesham Forest where he would produce a gun and scare him by shooting past him in the hope that he would stop bullying him.
He told the court he’d taken a Beretta gun from his grandfather’s locked gun cabinet without his knowledge the day before the shooting.