Farm Shooting: Burglars Jailed For Four Years

David Crabtree, Midlands Correspondent
Farm Shooting: Burglars Jailed For Four Years

Two men have been jailed for four years for a break-in at a cottage during which the homeowner shot at them.

Joshua O'Gorman and Daniel Mansell pleaded guilty to the burglary in which Andy Ferrie opened fire with a shotgun.

Judge Michael Pert QC said: "I make it plain that being shot is not mitigation.

"If you burgle a house in the country and the householder owns a legally held shotgun, that's the chance you take. You can not come to court and ask for a lighter sentence because if it."

Mansell, 33, from Leicester, appeared in the dock at Loughborough Magistrates' Court with his arm in a sling earlier this month when he admitted the offence.

O'Gorman, 27, also from Leicester, was treated for facial injuries at Leicester Royal Infirmary. He was shot in the face during the break-in at the cottage near Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire in the early hours of September 2.

O'Gorman and Mansell were both arrested at Leicester Royal Infirmary.

Homeowners Mr Ferrie, 35, and his wife Tracey, 43, were originally arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm after Mr Ferrie called police to tell them he had fired his shotgun at intruders in his home.

He used the legally owned gun when he and his wife were disturbed at their isolated property. The pair went to bed at about 10.15pm on September 1 and were woken hours later by the sounds of breaking glass.

Mr and Mrs Ferrie were later bailed and told by Crown Prosecution Service officials that they would not face criminal charges.

Judith Walker, chief crown prosecutor for the East Midlands, said: "Looking at the evidence, it is clear to me that Mr and Mrs Ferrie did what they believed was necessary to protect themselves and their home from intruders.

"As crown prosecutors, we look at all cases on their merit and according to the evidence in the individual case.

"I am satisfied that this is a case where householders, faced with intruders in frightening circumstances, acted in reasonable self-defence.

"The law is clear that when anyone acts in good faith, using reasonable force, doing what they honestly feel is necessary to protect themselves, their families or their property, will not be prosecuted for such action."

The court heard that O'Gorman was still on licence when he committed the burglary, having been jailed for 14 months last year at Leicester Crown Court for dangerous driving.

He has 16 previous convictions for 27 offences, including for a non-dwelling house burglary in 2002.