Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting DEVON NEWS to 80360 or email us
Being shot is a 'chance you take'
A judge has told two burglars permanently injured when they were shot by a homeowner: "That is the chance you take."
Judge Michael Pert QC jailed Joshua O'Gorman and Daniel Mansell for four years each after rejecting a plea that he take the shooting into account.
O'Gorman and Mansell, who have a string of convictions between them, were blasted with a legally-owned shotgun by Andy Ferrie as they attempted to ransack his isolated farm cottage in the early hours of September 2.
O'Gorman, who was shot in the face, and Mansell, who was hit in his right hand, had pleaded guilty to the break-in in Welby, near Melton Mowbray, at an earlier hearing.
Sentencing them at Leicester Crown Court, the judge said: "I make it plain that, in my judgment, being shot is not mitigation. If you burgle a house in the country where the householder owns a legally held shotgun, that is the chance you take. You cannot come to court and ask for a lighter sentence because of it."
He was responding to a mitigation plea from Andrew Frymann, representing O'Gorman, who said being shot was for his client akin to a "near-death experience" for which he was not prepared. His injuries left him with blurred vision, severe pain and problems with his balance.
Replying to Mr Frymann's suggestion that O'Gorman was traumatised, Judge Pert said the arrest of Mr and Mrs Ferrie on suspicion of grievous bodily harm could be considered just as disturbing. He said: "Some might argue that being arrested and locked up for 40 hours is a trauma."
Mr Ferrie, 35, and his wife Tracey, 43, were held in custody for nearly two days after Mr Ferrie called police to tell them he fired his shotgun at the intruders. Their arrests prompted widespread criticism. The couple were later bailed and told they would not face criminal charges.
Mansell, 33, and O'Gorman, 27, both from Leicester but with no fixed addresses, appeared in the court dock each wearing a grey sweatshirt and showing physical evidence of the confrontation. A scar was clearly visible on the right side of O'Gorman's face and Mansell had his arm in a sling.
Commenting after sentencing, a spokesman for Leicestershire Police said: "The decision made by the Crown Prosecution Service, after reviewing all the evidence, was to take no further action against the homeowners involved. We are unable to comment any further as we have an ongoing investigation with three men currently on police bail."