Judge jails man after shotgun fired in struggle

A man has been jailed after inflicting a “terrible injury” when he shot someone in the leg during a struggle.

Matthew Davis, 29, had been drinking with Adrian Robinson and Claire Morris earlier at an address in High Garth, Eastfield, Scarborough and clearly became “very drunk,” said Judge Geoffrey Marson QC.

Miss Morris had complained to him that Mr Robinson, her boyfriend, had threatened her with what she thought was a gun and had put bullets in her pocket.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

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 Mr Robinson 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 that in the course of such a confrontation there would be a struggle and the gun would be discharged.”

Seeing him on the stairs, Mr Robinson kicked Davis, causing him to fall backwards and the two then struggled over the gun.

The judge added: “As anyone might have anticipated it went off, hitting Mr Robinson in the leg, causing a terrible and permanent injury.”

Davis, of Pavilion Terrace, Scarborough, 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’d 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 Mr Robinson after Miss Morris indicated she was too fearful to end her relationship with him. He never intended to discharge the weapon but it went off when it was deflected downwards in the struggle.

His family and girlfriend were supporting him and he had learned a “very salutary lesson.”