A 16 year old boy has been convicted of attempted murder after he shot another teenage boy in the face in Kesgrave last year.
The jury reached their verdicts at Ipswich Crown Court today, Friday 25th June, following a month-long trial.
The defendant, who is from the Woodbridge area and cannot be named for legal reasons, was found guilty of attempted murder by a majority verdict of 11-1 and was unanimously found guilty of possession of a shotgun with intent to endanger life.
He was found not guilty of possession of a shotgun with intent to cause fear of violence (in respect of a man who witnessed the shooting).
The boy, who was 15-years-old at the time of the incident, had previously admitted possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, but denied the other offences.
The shooting took place at approximately 8.40am on Monday 7th September in Kesgrave, when the 15 year old victim was walking to school.
The defendant had driven to Friend’s Walk in his father’s car and laid in wait for around an hour before confronting the victim on his usual route to school. He then shot him in the face with a double-barrelled shotgun which he had taken from his grandfather’s house.
After the shooting, the offender then stood over the victim with witnesses describing him as being calm. He then pointed the gun at a man in neighbouring house who looked out of his window after hearing the gunshot.
The offender then got into the car and drove away from the scene, before being located and arrested by armed police in Westwood Avenue, Ipswich, later that morning at 10.55am. The shotgun was found in the back of the car.
The victim sustained a significant injury to his face and his condition was initially life-threatening. He suffered a stroke after being taken to hospital, which left him partially paralysed and with some brain damage. He continues to receive treatment for lifelong injuries.
The victim and offender were at school together and had previously been friends. The offender claimed he had been subjected to some bullying by the victim and that he had only meant to scare him, but this version of events was rejected by the court.
Detective Superintendent David Henderson, the Senior Investigating Officer, said: “This was a truly shocking incident, the like of which I have never encountered before – particularly due to the age of the parties involved.
“The victim has suffered lifelong injuries as a result of this attack, which has been devastating for him and his family – some of whom had the additional trauma of going to his aid immediately after the shooting occurred.
“The guilty verdicts today may provide justice for the victim and his family, but this is just the beginning of a very long journey for them all. The victim had everything to look forward to in life that a teenager should have, but this attack has certainly robbed him of the remainder of his childhood and will likely impact on him well into his adult life.”
The defendant has been remanded in custody pending a sentencing hearing at Ipswich Crown Court on Friday 3rd September.