Kesgrave shooting trial: 'Good character cannot provide a defence'

A teenager remains in critical condition in Addenbrooke's Hospital after being shot on his way to sc

The judge has been summing up in the Kesgrave shooting trial - Credit: Archant

The jury in the trial of a teenage boy accused of attempted murder after shooting a friend in the face with a shotgun in Kesgrave has been listening to a summing up of the case by the trial judge.

Judge Martyn Levett told the jury today that the fact the defendant was only 15 at the time of the shooting was not a defence and neither were his claims that he had been “bullied, humiliated and ridiculed” by the victim.

He said the fact that the defendant had no previous convictions didn’t mean he hadn’t committed the offences arising out of the shooting on September 7 last year.

“Good character cannot provide a defence to the charges but is something you should take into account,” said the judge.

He said the defendant accepted taking his grandfather’s shotgun without permission, loading it with two cartridges and taking it to Friends Walk in Kesgrave where he had pointed it at the victim.

“He has admitted having a shotgun with intent to cause fear of violence,” said the judge.

He said that while the defendant’s claim that he had been bullied by the victim wasn’t a defence, his legal team said it explained why he went to Friends Walk on the day in question and confronted the victim.

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However, the judge said the prosecution relied on audio CCTV and other recordings from properties in Friends Walk to show that at no time during the confrontation had the defendant told the victim to stop bullying, ridiculing or humiliating him.

He said the prosecution claimed that what had gone in between the defendant and the victim was “no more than schoolboy banter”.

Judge Levett said the defendant, who claimed to be suffering from depression, anxiety and panic attacks, had a “constellation” of issues to deal with as he was growing up including his mother drinking, his parents rowing and his mother playing loud music which kept him awake at night which were a “recipe for a pervasive cloud” hanging over him.

The defendant, who is now 16 and cannot be named due to his age, has denied 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. 

Giving evidence during the trial 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 previously told the court that bullying by the other boy had damaged his self confidence and left him feeling upset and humiliated.

The jury is expected to retire to consider its verdicts on Monday (June 21).

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