Kesgrave shooting: Teenager 'unintentionally' pulled trigger, defence says
- Credit: PA
A teenage boy accused of attempted murder after shooting a friend in the face with a shotgun in Kesgrave only intended to scare him and had “unintentionally” pulled the trigger, it has been claimed.
In her closing speech to the jury at Ipswich Crown Court on Thursday (June 17), defence counsel Diane Ellis QC accepted the defendant had loaded the gun and had taken off the safety catch - and that it was “clearly a very stupid thing to have done”.
However, she said that the boy, who was 15 at the time of the shooting, had not intentionally fired the gun.
Miss Ellis said her client had planned to get the boy into the car and, when that failed, he had panicked.
“He was panicking. It wasn’t working out as he expected and due to that he can only assume it caused the trigger to be pulled by him.
“Having seen the boy on the ground, he felt immense shock and stress,” said Miss Ellis
She said he had stayed at the scene of the shooting for a minute because the shot had taken him by surprise and he had “a sense of disbelief” at what had happened.
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“It had an immense impact on him. He hadn’t intended to kill or seriously hurt the victim by his actions,” said Miss Ellis.
She said if he had intended to kill the victim, he could have shot him again with a second live round of ammunition in the gun.
The defendant - who is now 16 and cannot be named due to his age - denies attempted murder, possession of a shotgun with intent to endanger life, wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and possessing a shotgun with intent to cause fear of violence against a man who witnessed the incident.
The court previously heard how the teenager drove his father's car to Friends Walk, in Kesgrave, on September 7 last year and shot the other boy in the face at close range.
The victim, who was also aged 15 at the time, was on his way to school in Kesgrave on the first day of term and suffered life-changing injuries.
Previously giving evidence from the witness box, the defendant said his intention had not been to shoot the other boy in the face, kill him or do him really serious harm but to "scare" him.
He told the court that bullying by the other boy had damaged his self-confidence and left him feeling humiliated and upset.
In her closing speech to the jury, Miss Ellis said: “We ask you when you consider the evidence in this case as mature adults to remember at all times you are dealing with a young boy who was much younger than he is now.”
She told the jury that on March 31 this year the boy had admitted possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence to the victim.
“By his plea he accepted that on September 7 last year it was his intention when he had that shotgun to cause the victim to fear violence and to scare him.
“He didn’t intend to kill him nor did he intend to cause him really serious harm or endanger his life.
“Sadly events turned out very differently and you know that his actions on that day led the to the victim being the victim of very serious injuries which are life-changing.
“He will never be the person he would have been. It is for him an indescribable tragedy as it is for his family and his friends,” said Miss Ellis.
“Fifteen as he was, he is now facing a very different future from the one he envisaged.”
She said the court had heard the harrowing scream of his mother after rushing to the scene and discovering her son had been shot.
“It is perfectly clear how terrible the events were and what anguish was felt by his family as they found him lying injured in the road," she said.
She said in a very different way the defendant’s life had been dramatically changed by what happened that day.
Miss Ellis said it was inevitable that emotions would come into play but she urged the jury to put feelings of emotion and sympathy to one side and to consider the evidence dispassionately and objectively.
“It isn’t always the case that where a tragedy occurs that it was intentional,” she added.
She said she hoped to demonstrate to the jury that there were good reasons to make them doubt that the defendant had intentionally pulled the trigger.
The trial continues.