Kesgrave teen shooter sentence delayed

Police at the scene in Kesgrave Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

A further report needs to be prepared for the judge. - Credit: Archant

The sentencing of a 16-year-old boy who lay in wait for a friend and shot him in the face at close range causing devastating injuries has been adjourned until November.

Judge Martyn Levett asked for a further report to be prepared to assist him in assessing the issue of the teenager’s dangerousness.

The boy, who was 15 at the time of the shooting in Friends Walk, Kesgrave, on September 7 last year, was due to have been sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court today. ( Friday September 24) but he will now be sentenced on November 1.

The boy was found guilty of attempted murder by a jury in June after a month long trial.

The teenager, who cannot be named because of his age, was also found guilty of possessing a shotgun with intent to endanger life. 

He was due to have been sentenced last month but the hearing was adjourned to today after Judge Levett learned that while the boy was in custody three weeks after the shooting he said he would “probably kill again.”

Judge Levett said that during a game of Jenga as bricks were removed each young person was asked what they would do when they left custody and the defendant had answered “probably kill again.”

The court heard that when he was asked what he wanted to do later in life he had replied: “I will probably be inside until I'm 40 and I would like to be famous for chemical warfare.”

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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 Kesgrave High School on September 7 last year, on the first day back since the first national lockdown.

Riel Karmy-Jones QC said the defendant 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 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 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 that he 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 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.”

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.”