The pensioners’ were left with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and say they have since been forced to move away from their “dream home” on Greenside, Pudsey after Stephen Crawley and Kiefer Lee fired the 12-bore shotgun outside their home, with the bullet shattering their window.
The pair were both jailed for 17 years each at Leeds Crown Court this week.
The incident happened at around 11pm on July 12 last year when the couple, aged 69 and 72, were quietly sat watching TV in their living room. They both dived to the floor in fear for their lives. The two gunmen were then seen riding away on a motorbike.
In a victim impact statement read out by prosecutor Michael Greenhalgh, the female said: “We were the victims of something we had nothing to do with. I now know it was not meant for us.
"We no longer feel safe in our home. It was meant to be our forever home. We are both receiving counselling, we have been diagnosed with PTSD and the anxiety is still there a year later. We have experienced nightmares and flashbacks.”
Using CCTV, the police were able to trace the motorbike’s journey from where they fired the shot, right to both Crawley and Lee’s home addresses. It was ascertained that 30-year-old Crawley was the one who fired the shot, with 32-year-old Lee in control of the bike. Crawley was arrested first, with Lee detained in Blackpool four months later.
Data from mobile phone masts put both defendants on Greenside that night. It was eventually confirmed that they had been involved in a tit-for-tat drugs feud with another man who they said had previously shot at them. In an act of revenge, they had gone to the man’s flat which happened to be below the elderly couple’s.
They both eventually admitted possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life. The weapon was never recovered. They appeared in court via video link from HMP Leeds where they have both been on remand for more than a year.
Crawley, of Farrow Vale, Armley has previous convictions for burglary, dangerous driving and sending a threatening communication. Lee, of Fairfield Hill, Bramley, has previous convictions including handling stolen goods, drug dealing and burglary.
Mitigating for Lee, Catherine Silverton said: “He is truly sorry for what he has done. He never wished any harm on these innocent victims. He is beginning to accept the reality of what he has done."
Similarly, Gerard Hillman, representing Crawley said: “He is disgusted at what happened and genuinely wishes to convey his apologies. He is ashamed of what happened. He takes full responsibility and says he deserves a long sentence.”
Judge Simon Batiste jailed them both for 13 years, with a four-year extended licence period after determining that both men were a danger to the public.
He said: “People who choose to involve themselves in gun crime, especially with real firearms that are fired, can expect to receive really long sentences.”