A man has been jailed after inflicting a “terrible injury” when he shot someone in the leg during a struggle in Eastfield.
Matthew Davis, 29, had been drinking with a couple earlier at an address in High Garth, Eastfield, and clearly became “very drunk,” said Judge Geoffrey Marson QC.
The woman who he was drinking with had complained to Davis that her boyfriend had threatened her with what she thought was a gun and had put some bullets in her pocket.
Sentencing Davis at Leeds Crown Court yesterday, Judge Marson told him: “That was a matter for the police and the authorities but you left and in your drunken state within a short time had armed yourself with a lethal weapon.”
That was a loaded shortened shotgun which “had no lawful purpose.”
The judge said he accepted when Davis returned he was intending only to threaten the boyfriend with it but he had deliberately sought a confrontation.
“At the time you were aware of his reputation and the fact he had been arrested for firearms offences and allegedly putting a bomb under someone’s car although he was never prosecuted for any of those alleged offences.”
“You must have realised there was a very serious risk in the course of such a confrontation there would be a struggle and the gun would be discharged.”
When the boyfriend saw Davis on the stairs he kicked him causing Davis to fall backwards and the two then struggled over the gun.
During the struggle the gun went off, firing directly at the boyfriend in the leg causing a “terrible and permanent injury”.
Davis, of Pavilion Terrace, admitted unlawful wounding and possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.
Jailing him for a total of seven and a half years with an additional three years extended licence, Judge Marson said Davis had a “troubling record” prior to that and it was a disturbing feature that he had access at short notice to such a weapon which had never been recovered.
Christopher Dunn for Davis said his intention had only been to threaten the boyfriend after the woman indicated she was too fearful to end her relationship with that man. He never intended to discharge the weapon but it went off when it was deflected down in the struggle.
His family and girlfriend were supporting him and he had learned a “very salutary lesson.”
The shooting took place on Saturday, April 21 this year, after which Scarborough police embarked on a large scale man hunt to find the gunman, who was not arrested until April 24.
During the hunt specialist firearms officers closed Seamer Road as they swooped on a property in the street. Traffic was stopped along the A64 between the junction of Queen Margaret’s Road and Stoney Haggs Road.
The suspect was not found on that occasion, but was arrested a day later in New Queen Street.
The gun used in the shooting was never recovered.