‘Summary justice’: Man shoots armed burglar with air rifle

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A MAN who keeps an air rifle for hunting has told how he chased off an armed burglar by shooting him twice when he broke into his home.

Gary Holmes, 19, was at home with his girlfriend and her two-month-old baby when Lewis Patterson broke in.

The intruder smashed his way into the property in Hull with a metal bar but was immediately confronted by Mr Holmes. When Patterson lunged forward with the bar, the teenager shot him twice with his rifle.

His actions were described as “summary justice” by the judge who sent Patterson down.

Both men called police following the incident with Patterson claiming he had been walking past the house when he was shot at through a window.

But officers saw through his lies and arrested him after Mr Holmes was found to have acted in self-defence.

“I never expected to have to shoot a person,” Mr Holmes said. “The first officers who came seemed quite surprised when I said I had shot him.

“I don’t think they knew what to think. They seemed a bit confused about who they were going to be charging, so they sent officers from CID to take a statement the next day.

“They said, because he had threatened me, that I should be fine.”

Mr Holmes, of Broadstone Close, Bransholme, had seen Patterson before he broke into the house after hearing dogs barking.

He was hiding in a bush in the garden, occasionally running towards the window of the dining room, where Mr Holmes’ off-road motorbike was kept.

With his girlfriend in the adjoining room with her baby, Mr Holmes ran upstairs to get his rifle to ensure he was prepared. He said there was little time to think through the possible consequences.

“I ran upstairs to get my rifle and looked through the window and saw him hit the window with a baseball bat so hard that it snapped. Then he used a metal bar. I ran down the stairs loading my rifle at the same time.

“When I went into the dining room, he was trying to pull the motorbike through the window. I told him, not very politely, to get out, but he just stared straight at me.

“He raised this iron bar up and started coming towards me so I just pulled my gun up and shot him.”

He added: “If I had let him hit me, I could have been in hospital or dead.”

Patterson, 20, of Kimmeride Close, Bransholme, was sent to a young offenders’ institution for 18 months after admitting burglary at Hull Crown Court.

Judge Michael Mettyear told him: “This was quite outrageous conduct. It must have been very worrying and distressing for your victim. It’s true to say he got some summary justice but nevertheless it is something that will live with him for a very long time.”