Pair jailed for violent Lowestoft burglary where man was shot in head with air pistol

Thomas Dale (left) and Daniel Howard (right) have been jailed for for a total of nearly 20 years for

Thomas Dale (left) and Daniel Howard (right) have been jailed for for a total of nearly 20 years for a violent burgaory in Lowetoft. Picture: SUFFOLK POLICE - Credit: Archant

Two men who were involved in a violent burglary during which a man was shot in the head with an air pistol and hit with a metal bar have been jailed for a total of nearly 20 years.

As a result of the attack in August last year Andrew Price who was staying at a friend’s flat in High Street, Lowestoft, suffered seven pellet wounds to his head and back, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

One of the pellets was embedded in his head and removed under anaesthetic but another in his neck was so deeply embedded it couldn’t be removed, said Christopher Kerr, prosecuting.

Sentencing Thomas Dale, who fired the gun at Mr Price, to ten-and-a-half years detention in a young offenders’ institution Judge Martin Levett, described the attack as “vicious and serious”.

He said there was a significant risk of him committing serious offences in the future and passed an extended licence period of three-and-a-half years.

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He said Dale would have to serve two thirds of his sentence before he could be considered for release by the parole board.

Dale, of no fixed address, admitted having an imitation firearm, having ammunition in a public place, aggravated burglary and causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

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Howarth, 26, of Carlton Square, Carlton Colville, admitted aggravated burglary and was jailed for nine years.

Also before the court were Emma Hales, 31, of Denmark Road, Lowestoft, and Hayley Capps, 30, of St Edmunds Crescent, Kessingland.

They admitted burglary at the flat and were each given a 17 month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and a 30 day rehabilitation requirement.

The court heard that during the incident Mr Price was grappling with Howarth in his bedroom when he felt something pressed against the back of his head and turned to see Dale holding a gun.

Dale told him: “You are going to die” and Mr Price then heard the gun go off repeatedly.

“It sounded like a real gun going off,” said Mr Kerr.

Mr Price knocked the gun out of Dale’s hand and he and Dale started fighting. While this was going on Howarth picked up a metal bar and hit him repeatedly to the head and arms.

The court heard that Mr Price was known by the defendants to have a considerable amount of cash and drugs.

Following sentencing today, Detective Inspector Matthew Adams said: “This was a premeditated, violent and targeted attack on a victim who knew two of the four defendants before the incident.

“The offenders went to a flat where the victim had been staying, intent on stealing from him and Tom Dale arrived at the premises armed with a firearm.

“During a violent confrontation the victim was struck by Howarth with a metal bar and shot in the head by Dale at point blank range.

“The victim very bravely fought back against his attackers but later told detectives that he feared he was going to be killed.

“The victim suffered significant and lasting injuries but despite still having a pellet lodged in his neck he has made a very good recovery.

“I would like to thank the victim for his bravery in coming forwards and praise the work of DC Richard Last and DS Jamie Rose for their meticulous attention to detail during this investigation.

“I hope the sentences imposed in this case act as a deterrent to other criminals who think it is acceptable to carry weapons and engage in violence.

“I am extremely pleased so see that Dale and Howarth have been sentenced to significant terms of imprisonment.”

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