Teenager locked up for 24 years for shooting friend in Kesgrave
- Credit: Archant/Suffolk police
A 16-year-old boy who lay in wait for a friend and shot him in the face at close range, causing devastating injuries, after playing violent computer games has been locked up for 24 years.
Sentencing Jacob Talbot-Lummis, who can be named for the first time today, Judge Martyn Levett described him as “dangerous” and said he had come within “a hair- breadth” of killing the victim.
He said the teenager had ambushed him in order to carry out a “savage, planned execution” and had caused him “unimaginably serious injuries".
Judge Levett said that, although Talbot-Lummis claimed he had been bullied by the victim, he had never mentioned it to anyone in authority.
“I don’t accept there was bullying on the scale or degree suggested by the defence,” said the judge.
He said that if Talbot-Lummis had wanted just to scare the victim, he could have taken an air gun that he kept in his bedroom and needn’t have gone to the elaborate measures he had – to steal a shotgun and ammunition from his grandfather’s home.
He said the case once again highlighted the danger presented by guns and the “glorification” of violence in online computer games.
He said Talbot-Lummis’ plan to take the victim to a forest and fire shots was similar to the plot of a game called Hitman.
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“Gun violence affects whole communities and it is time to focus on the impact of those traumatised by gun violence,” said the judge.
Judge Levett said that, after ambushing the victim outside his home and shooting him once, Talbot-Lummis had only refrained from shooting him a second time because the boy had fallen to the ground and was obscured by a car.
He sentenced the boy to 24 year’s detention with an extended licence period of five years. He said the teenager would only be released from custody when the parole board decided it was safe to do so.
Talbot-Lummis, who was 15 at the time of the shooting in Friends Walk, Kesgrave, in September last year, was found guilty of attempted murder by a jury in June after a month long trial.
The teenager was also found guilty of possessing a shotgun with intent to endanger life.
Talbot-Lummis, of Carol Avenue, Martlesham, couldn’t be identified during his trial because of his young age but today Judge Levett agreed to lift the order protecting his identity because of the serious nature of the offences following an application by this newspaper.
The victim’s parents watched the sentencing hearing via a video link.
He was due to have been sentenced in September but the hearing was adjourned after Judge Levett learned that, while the boy was in custody three weeks after the shooting, he said he would “probably kill again” and “would like to be famous for chemical warfare".
The judge said he would have to consider whether the comments were "bravado".
During the teenager’s trial, the court heard that the shooting took place as the victim was walking to school on September 7 last year, on the first day back since the first national lockdown.
Riel Karmy-Jones QC said Talbot-Lummis had taken his grandfather’s double barrelled shotgun before driving to Friends Walk, in Grange Farm, Kesgrave, in his father’s car.
There he lay in wait for more than an hour, and when he saw the boy at about 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 the trial.
Experts estimated that the muzzle of the gun was between 0.75m and 1.5m away from the victim’s face when it was fired.
A friend of both boys later told police the defendant had been planning the attack for a year but had wrongly assumed he was joking.
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 boy 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 it is.”
Giving evidence during the trial, he 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.
The court heard that, since the attack, the victim, who had known the defendant since primary school, had undergone 15 operations, including major surgery on his jaw and skull.
He could now walk short distances but was unable to use his left arm and required support for day-to-day activities
He also had cognitive difficulties and further surgery was planned in the future.
In a personal impact statement he said the “callous” attack had "ruined his career aspirations" and had left him "picking up the pieces" of his life.
The victim's father said that what happened would "haunt him forever".
He said his son would "never have the life he was destined for" and described the time he had spent at his child's hospital bedside following the shooting as "75 days of hell".
The victim's mother described the defendant as "evil and full of hatred".
Diana Ellis QC, for Talbot-Lummis, said her client would have to live with the knowledge of the consequences of his actions on that day.
She said he had expressed regret and remorse for what he did, during his trial, to those who had prepared reports on him and to his family.
She said the fact that the victim was alive today was due to the “hugely impressive” work by medical staff immediately following the shooting.
Miss Ellis said that, more than a year after the shooting, her client now “truly appreciated” the impact of his behaviour on the victim, the victim’s family, his own family and the local community.
She said it wasn’t accepted that Talbot-Lummis had lured the victim out of his home to commit the offence.
In relation to the motive for the attack, she said the defendant’s life had become “intolerable” due to bullying he experienced at the hands of the victim, which he claimed had happened almost his entire school life.
She said her client had always said he felt “humiliated and belittled” by the victim and, over the summer holidays, he had brooded about his feelings and dread of facing him again.
She said she would not be doing justice to her client’s case if she didn’t draw the court’s attention to the bullying claims, which were backed up by a friend.
She said her client had become desensitised by being introduced to violent games, suitable for over 18s, since the age of nine and had then gone on to violent reality games during which he was the “first shooter".
“His life outside school seems to have involved watching these very violent games," she added.
She said he was an only child, brought up by his mother, who had mental health issues and problems with alcohol.
She said the defendant’s mother and father had never lived together and he had been without a father figure until he was eight.
Miss Ellis said a medical expert had found Talbot-Lummis' mental health had deteriorated since the age of 13 and he had been suffering from depression at the time of the shooting.
She said the teenager’s comments about “probably killing someone in the future” and that he “would like to be famous for chemical warfare”, which were made while he was in custody three weeks after the shooting, hadn’t been taken seriously by staff who described them as “bravado.”
She said experts had also said the teenager didn’t meet the criteria to be assessed as dangerous.