2006

We prepare a monthly summary of gun incidents, focussing on those that raise key issues about the nature of gun crime and the adequacy of gun legislation.  Items that have been amended or added to the list since the Summary was written are marked (*).

Some Personal Accounts sent to GCN are recorded separately.

 

ENGLAND

Sheffield Today, 30 December 2006

A robber brandishing a silver handgun confronted a sub-postmaster as he was opening up the branch in Darnall.  He demanded to be taken inside and be given the contents of the safe.  He tied up the sub-postmaster and then climbed on to the roof to escape.  The victim's wife called the police who sent an armed response team but the robber had fled.

BBC, 30 December 2006 *

A 17-year-old was shot three times in what is being described by police as a targeted attack.  The teenager was cycling through a park in Stretford, Manchester, when he was shot in the back, stomach and legs.  His condition is described as comfortable.  An 18-year-old has been convicted of attempted murder and three teenagers have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to cause actual bodily harm (see May 2007 Incidents).

The Press (York), 29 December 2006

Two armed robbers used a handgun to demand cash from terrified shop assistants at a shop in York.  The men took cash and escaped.

Peterborough Evening Telegraph, 29 December 2006

A bag of cash was stolen from two men in Huntingdon when they were approached by a man with a handgun.  They were intending to deposit the bank at a nearby bank.

Hemel Today, 29 December 2006 *

A man has been bailed by police after an incident in Ealing Broadway, west London, in which he is alleged to have pointed a gun at another driver during a road rage argument.  A BB gun was found inside the man's car.

BBC, 28 December 2006 *

A man was discovered dead in a field in Cottingham near Hull.  He had been brutally beaten to death and also been shot with an air weapon.  Another report described the victim's body being found peppered with wounds from an airgun (Sun, 28 December 2006).  The police want to speak to people with information about air weapons being used in the area.  Two teenagers, aged 19 and 18, have been found guilty of murder (see October 2007 Incidents).

BBC, 28 December 2006

A robber told the staff at a Leicester betting shop that he had a handgun.  He threatened them with an object wrapped in a carrier bag then left with a quantity of cash.

BBC, 27 December 2006

A shop assistant in Leasowe on the Wirral was threatened by a robber armed with a stun gun who made off with the takings.  The victim was left shaken but uninjured.

BBC, 26 December 2006

A man armed with a shotgun threatened an attendant at a petrol station in Doncaster.  The attendant was forced to hand over cash.  She was left shaken but otherwise unhurt.

This is Hertfordshire, 22 December 2006

Two masked raiders threatened staff with a handgun and a baseball bat as they stole a small amount of cash from a book shop in Hatfield.

BBC, 22 December 2006

Two robbers held a gun to the head of a security guard as he made a delivery to a supermarket in Bury.  The men ran away with at least five bags containing a "significant amount" of money.

BBC, 22 December 2006

A teenage shop worker was injured when he was attacked in an off licence in Rugby by a masked man carrying a handgun.  The robber fled with an unknown amount of money after kneeing the victim in the stomach.

Telegraph, 21 December 2006

Douglas Bernstein buried an illegally-held .357 Ruger revolver and 20 bullets in his garden in Dunsfold, Surrey.  His wife discovered what he had done and informed the police.  He pleaded guilty to having a prohibited firearm and ammunition without a certificate.  He said he had bought the weapon lawfully in America and claimed he had inadvertently brought it into Britain inside the drawer of some furniture when he took up a post at Southampton University.  He was given a 51 weeks' jail sentence suspended for two years and was ordered to carry out 180 hours' unpaid work.

Hemel Today, 21 December 2006

A pensioner was robbed at gunpoint at his home in Berkhamsted.  Three men, one of whom was holding a black handgun, stole Christmas presents, cash and credit cards.  They had rung his doorbell late in the evening and then demanded money from him.

AOL News, 21 December 2006 *

Four teenagers have been convicted of killing a woman as she cradled a baby at the child's christening party in Peckham in August 2005 (see Incidents).  A 17-year-old was convicted of murder and the other three, aged 15, 16 and 17 were convicted of manslaughter.  All four were members of an armed masked gang who burst into a christening party and after shooting the victim robbed other guests of valuables.  Roberto Malasi, 18, was jailed for 30 years for the murder and was given a second life sentence for killing another woman two weeks later.  Diamond Babamuboni, 17, and Timy Babamuboni, 15, and Jude Odigie, 16, were all given indeterminate sentences for manslaughter and robbery and will serve a minimum of 8 years in detention (Telegraph, 15 February 2007).

Times, 20 December 2006

A soldier, Danny McKee, has been jailed for three years after stealing a Browning 9mm pistol from the armoury of his barracks at Chivenor, north Devon, in June 2006 and using it to threaten a drugs dealer in a row over £20.

Diss Mercury, 20 December 2006

A man was shot in the leg at point-blank range outside a pub in Diss following an argument.  About half an hour after time had been called one of the men who had been arguing returned brandishing an air rifle and shot the other man in the leg.  The victim needed hospital treatment for severe bruising but was saved from more serious injuries after the pellet first hit his keys.

Coventry Evening Telegraph, 20 December 2006

Deke Merlin Hogan of Willenhall was given a community punishment order for 12 months and ordered to do 100 hours unpaid community work after having a loaded air rifle in a public place without lawful authority.  The gun was forfeited.

BBC, 20 December 2006

Two robbers dressed as postmen threatened a couple at their home in Ewell, Surrey.  It is believed that were armed with a firearm in a black plastic bag.  They had entered the property after telling the man they had a letter in their van.  The robbers stole money.

National Newspapers, 19 and 23 December 2006 *

Yusuf Jama, 20, has been found guilty of the  murder of PC Sharon Beshenivsky, who was shot dead at point blank range following a bungled armed robbery at a travel agents in Bradford in November 2005 (see Incidents).  Another police officer, PC Teresa Milburn, was shot and injured.  Two brothers, Faisal Razzaq and Hassan Rassaq, were found guilty of the manslaughter of PC Beshenivsky.  Jama was also found guilty of possessing a Mac10 machine gun and a 9mm pistol with intent to endanger life and two counts of possessing firearms.  Raza Ul-Haq Aslam was cleared of all charges except for robbery and will be retried in February.  Earlier Muzzaker Shah had admitted PC Beshenivsky's murder, but the judge had ordered the jury to clear him of PC Milburn's attempted murder.  Shah and Jama have each been sentenced to a minimum of 35 years in prison.  Faisal Razzaq was given a life sentence and will serve at least 11 years before being considered for parole.  Hassan Razzaq was given a twenty year sentence (see BBC, 23 May 2007).  Two other men, Mustaf Jama and Piran Ditta Khan remain on the run from the police.  Raza Ul-Haq Aslam has been jailed for eight years for taking part in the robbery (BBC, 23 May 2007).  Mustaf Jama has since been found guilty of murder, robbery, possession of firearms with intent to endanger life and possession of a prohibited weapon and been given a life sentence (West Yorkshire Police, 22 July 2009).

Lancashire Evening Post, 19 December 2006

Michael Richard Allen has been given a supervision order for 18 months after being seen in Preston carrying a machete and a ball-bearing gun.

Leeds Today, 18 December 2006

A man who spent hours documenting acts of vandalism, threatening and antisocial behaviour in a street in Middleton, Leeds, describes some of the things he caught on camera as outrageous.  He says he recorded airgun pellets being fired and threats made to shoot a four-year-old girl.

ic Birmingham, 18 December 2006

Police are investigating the death of a man who was discovered with gunshot wounds at a farm near Broadway, Worcestershire.  An inquest has been opened (Evesham Journal, 20 December 2006).

Sunday Mirror, 17 December 2006

A masked gunman robbed a woman of up to £500,000 of jewellery and cash at her home in Sandbanks, Dorset.  She was alone when the man broke in through an open side door.

BBC, 17 December 2006 *

A shop worker was shot with a ball-bearing gun as two men held up a shop in Long Buckby, Northamptonshire.  The robbers fled with the night's takings.  The victim was shot in the arm and suffered bruising.  Three men have now received long jail sentences for this and other armed robberies in Northamptonshire (see December 2008 Incidents).

Portsmouth.co.uk, 16 December 2006

Three robbers burst into an off licence in Fratton and threatened a cashier with a gun.  The men attempted to get into the till but were unable to open it and fled empty-handed.

Contactmusic.com, 16 December 2006

A suspected thief pulled out a stun gun in Harrods store in Knightsbridge, London.  The suspect smashed a glass door before running away, chased by security guards.  He surrendered 30 minutes later after running into a block of flats.

Cotswold Journal, 15 December 2006

Police in the North Cotswolds are warning parents about the pitfalls of allowing children and teenagers to own air weapons.  The warning comes after police received reports that youths were firing an air rifle at the windows of homes in Withington.  Three boys, aged 16 and 15, were given a police reprimand.

BBC, 15 December 2006

Staff at a travel agents in Darlington were confronted by a gunman who stole £5,000 in sterling and other denominations.  No one was hurt in the incident, although two female members of staff were left shocked and shaken.  Police are investigating whether the robbery is linked to the one on another travel agents in Hartlepool (see below).

BBC, 15 December 2006

A murder inquiry has begun after a man was shot at his home in Handsworth, Birmingham.  Police say they were called to reports of an incident at the house.  The victim died in hospital.

Hartlepool Today, 14 December 2006

A man fled with cash which he demanded from a female shop assistant at a travel agents in Hartlepool.  Police believe he was carrying a handgun.  The assistant was badly shaken but not hurt during the incident.

Daily Echo, 14 December 2006 *

Thomas Blackburn, 20, pleaded guilty to charges of unlawful wounding and possession of a firearm, following the shooting of a seven-year-old boy who was riding his bicycle outside his home in Poole in August 2006 (see Incidents).  An air rifle, silencer and ammunition were found in his room at home after the attack.  The victim spent three nights in hospital where surgeons attempted to remove   an airgun pellet from his leg and clean the wound.  Blackburn was sent to a young offenders' institution for 10 months (Daily Echo, 13 January 2007).

Guardian, 13 December 2006

Lloywen Carty, Jermaine Labastide and Conroy Smith, members of a London drugs gang, were convicted of murder during the 2004 Notting Hill carnival.  The gang drew weapons, including a Mac10 sub-machine gun, and shot the victim near Kensal Green underground station (see Incidents).

Bromley Times, 13 December 2006

Two armed robberies are believed to have been carried out by the same gang of youths.  At Penge four men burst into a shop, one of them brandishing a handgun wrapped in a cloth or a sock.  They made off with an undisclosed sum of money and some cigarettes.  A shop was robbed in Anerley by a similar gang who accosted a security guard, threatened him with a handgun, before taking him into the back room while they stole two till trays, emptied the safe and took packets of cigarettes.

BBC, 13 December 2006

A man threatened a lone female cashier with a gun during an armed robbery on a building society in Ashbourne, Derbyshire.  The man escaped with £1,500. 

Press Association, 12 December 2006

Trevon Kyron Thomas was convicted of trying to kill PC Rachael Bown in a back street in Nottingham in February 2006 (see Incidents).  PC Bown suffered life threatening injuries in the attack and has still not returned to duty.  Thomas was also convicted of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.  He had responded to being sprayed with CS gas by PC Bown's colleague by firing three shots from his Browning 9 mm pistol, two of which hit PC Bown.  He has been jailed for 30 years (BBC, 14 December 2006).

Mansfield Today, 12 December 2006 *

A group of men have appeared in court charged with pointing a ball bearing gun out of a car while they drove around the centre of Mansfield in February 2006.  Matthew Smith, Jason Brown and Richard Meehan admitted possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.  They also admitted other driving and vehicle offences.  The vehicle was stolen in Clipstone and the guns were already in the car.  Brown, 18, and Meehan, 21, were given custodial sentences of 15 months and for seven months and 90 days for these and other offences.  Smith, 21, received a six months sentence suspended for 18 months.  Another man, Jason Broadway, was given a community order with 120 hours unpaid work (Mansfield Today, 31 January 2007).

Journal (Newcastle), 12 December 2006 *

Armed police were called to an incident in Tynemouth in which a man was shot in the legs.  Members of the public reported the sound of gunshots.  The victim was in a serious condition in hospital.  A man has been given an indefinite jail sentence for the attack (see May 2007 Incidents).

News Shopper, 11 December 2006

A woman was tied up and threatened with a handgun and a knife after robbers forced their way into her home in Gravesend.  Two men asked if they could read the electricity meter and when they were refused entry they pushed the door aside, followed by two more men.  The gang stole cash, jewellery and the woman's car which was recovered an hour later.

Guardian, 11 December 2006

Lance Corporal Ross Phillips and Private Shane Pleasant from the 3rd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment admitted possession of a prohibited pistol at a hearing at Catterick Garrison.  Two other soldiers admitted an offence of trying to pervert the course of justice.  Two other soldiers, who are both due to face proceedings next year, planned a "business arrangement" to buy guns in Iraq and sell them to colleagues at the battalion base in Germany in an alleged plot to smuggle guns out of Iraq and trade them for drugs and cash (see October 2006 Incidents).  Philips had bought an imitation handgun converted to fire live ammunition from one of the other soldiers and Pleasant admitted buying from the same man a different imitation pistol which had been converted to fire live rounds.  Phillips and Pleasant were both sent to prison for over five years.  The other soldiers, Lance Corporal Ben Whitfield and Private Robert Marlow, were sentenced to a jail sentence of two years and eight months and six months in an Army detention centre, respectively (BBC, 11 December 2006).

BBC, 11 December 2006

A man from Church Langley, Harlow, took two men for a test drive in his car, which he had advertised for sale.  He was threatened at gunpoint by the men who stole his mobile phone and drove off in his car.

BBC, 11 December 2006 *

Police have applied to magistrates for a closure order on a nightclub in Ipswich after one man died and three others were injured.  A post-mortem examination revealed that the dead man had received a gunshot wound (it was initially reported that the victim had been stabbed).  Another man was shot in the shoulder and legs, and two men were also treated for gunshot wounds after being injured in the club.  A man was arrested for a public order offence and released on bail and eight people have been arrested on suspicion of firearms offences but a spokesman said police were unable to say whether the arrests had any connection with the earlier incidents at the nightclub.  A handgun was found in a car park at the rear of the club (East Anglian Daily Times, 11 December 2006).  Suffolk Police have offered a reward for information leading to the conviction of those responsible for the murder (BBC, 4 December 2008).

BBC, 10 December 2006 *

A man was shot dead in his car in a busy retail park in Croxteth, Merseyside.  It is believed that the gunman escaped in a car which was later found abandoned in Norris Green.  The victim, described as a notorious criminal, had survived an attempt on his life by a masked gunman after being sent off while playing in a football match in 2005 (Liverpool Echo, 12 December 2006).  A 19-year-old has been arrested on suspicion of murder (BBC, 23 August 2007).

Manchester Evening News, 9 December 2006

Peter Grass, described as an expert shot, hunted down and executed a dairy farmer, shooting him twice from behind and then waiting five minutes before reloading his shotgun and killing him by shooting him in the head.  Grass was arrested after a seven-hour siege at his victim's farm at Radcliffe, near Bury.  Grass had been friends with the victim and had lived as a tenant on the farm for seven years but their relationship had changed and he had been ordered to leave.  He must serve at least 26 years in jail before he can be considered for release.

BBC, 7 December 2006

A man has been arrested on suspicion of possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence after a fight at a pub in Newlyn, Cornwall.

BBC, 7 December 2006 *

Two nurses at a Birmingham hospital were threatened by a man, believed to have been a patient and thought to be armed with a gun.  He demanded drugs.  Police used a stun gun to arrest a man who is now in custody.  The incident was very traumatic for staff and patients, although none were injured.  A man has admitted robbery and possession of an imitation firearm (see March 2007 Incidents).

ic South London, 6 December 2006

An off licence in Belvedere was raided by three masked robbers who shot a shop worker three times with a ball bearing gun.  A ball bearing was removed from the victim's arm.  The robbers took just a few packets of cigarettes.

ic South London, 6 December 2006

A Croydon nightclub was evacuated by armed police after a man was spotted with a handgun.  The loaded pistol was found hidden in the gents' toilet.

News & Star, 5 December 2006

A woman was taken to hospital with a bruised arm after being shot as she walked down a street in Botcherby, Carlisle.  Police believe her attacker used a ball bearing gun.

This is Hertfordshire, 4 December 2006 *

A man has died after being found with gunshot wounds at a house in Carshalton, south London.  The victim did not live at the address and it is not know what links he had there (ic Croydon, 8 December 2006).  A man has been convicted of murder and will serve at least 30 years in prison (see July 2008 Incidents).

This is Hampshire, 4 December 2006

Jermaine Tyrer and Simon Brooker have been given indeterminate jail sentences after they were found guilty of attempted murder, possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life, grievous bodily harm with intent and possession of Class A drugs.  A man was left with a life-threatening gunshot wound to his abdomen after violence erupted in a Basingstoke bar in December 2005 (see Incidents).

BBC, 4 December 2006

Three masked men threatened customers and staff at a post office in St Agnes, Cornwall.  They were armed with a sawn-off shotgun.

BBC, 4 December 2006

A haul of 65 high-powered guns was discovered during a raid on a house in Crystal Palace, south London.  The house was unoccupied and no-one was arrested.

BBC, 2 December 2006

A worker in an off licence in Whittingham, Preston, was threatened with a gun by two men during an armed robbery.  The pair drove off in a car after stealing cigarettes.

BBC, 2 December 2006

Two men were injured in a shooting in Ordsall, Salford.  Both men are in a stable condition and their injuries, both to legs, are not believed to be life-threatening.

BBC, 2 December 2006

Neighbours reported a disturbance and said a gun had been seen at a house in Birmingham where it was believed a man was being held hostage at gunpoint.  However, after a six hour siege it was discovered that there was no on inside the house.

Press Association, 1 December 2006

Philip Bignell, a man described as an "evil" gun collector, has been jailed for 16 years for subjecting young boys to a catalogue of cruel sexual abuse.  He used his collection of weaponry and war memorabilia to lure vulnerable victims into his clutches.  Bignell, who worked at Harrow School, has had his dozen gun licences withdrawn.

BBC, 1 December 2006

A female security guard was threatened with a handgun by masked robbers as she was delivering cash to a store in Wickford, Essex.  They forced the guard to drop the cash box and made off by car.

Peterborough Today, 30 November 2006

A man brandishing a black handgun terrified staff at a Spalding bookmakers.  He demanded cash and fled on foot with an undisclosed amount of money.

In the News, 30 November 2006 *

A man has been killed in a shooting in the Lozells area of Birmingham.  He died in hospital after he was found suffering from gunshot wounds.  Three days earlier two people were arrested following reports of  a man being shot at in the area (BBC, 27 November 2006).  A man has been arrested in connection with the killing, which happened when the victim was working in a shop.  It is thought that the victim's brother was also killed in a shooting in 2003 (BBC, 1 December 2006).

BBC, 29 November 2006 *

A shotgun was fired at a police van during a bank robbery in Horwich, near Bolton.  One police officer suffered facial injuries, either from shards of glass or shotgun pellets and his female colleague suffered shock.  Three men are being sought by police.  Three men have now been arrested after nine homes in Leigh were targeted during a series of dawn raids (This is Lancashire, 18 December 2006).

News Shopper, 28 November 2006

A woman was pistol-whipped by a man who snatched two of her puppies when he came to her Greenwich home with another man for a pre-arranged visit to see the dogs.  As he picked up the pups he pulled out a gun and said he was not going to pay for them.

East Anglian Daily Times, 28 November 2006

Carl Loveridge, who was traced after he left blood at the scene of a robbery, was discovered to have a firearm stored away in his bedroom when police raided his home in Brandon.  Despite claiming the air rifle to be his father's, he admitted one charge of theft and one count of possessing ammunition (as a former prisoner he was barred from having any firearms or ammunition within five years of release).  He was ordered to carry out 200 hours of community service.

Cambridge Evening News, 28 November 2006 *

Ken Kew has pleaded guilty to illegal possession of a gun in Fen Ditton in June 2006 (see Incidents).  He denies possession of a pistol with intent to cause fear of violence, threats to kill and threatening to damage property.  In court a male nurse has described how he was wounded by Kew.  He was shot in the left side of his chest, centimetres from his heart.  The nurse and his family were visiting Kew's estranged wife at the time.  Kew has been jailed for 16 years for attempted murder and given a deportation order (Cambridge Evening News, 15 January 2007).

BBC, 28 November 2006

Two family members were fired at as they drove out of a car park in Smethwick.  The attacker fired six shots from a handgun.  One victim was shot in the leg, the other in the shoulder and pelvis.  The pair are in hospital where their condition is described as stable.  Two other passengers in the car were unhurt.  All the men had been to a funeral.

BBC, 28 November 2006

Bus services on a service in Weston-super-Mare have been diverted after shots were fired, probably from an airgun, at its vehicles.  A passenger was told that his bus could only go to its destination in Worle because five buses had been hit by yobs (Weston & Somerset Mercury, 7 December 2006).

Portsmouth Today, 27 November 2006

A man walked into a video shop in Waterlooville and brandished what police believe was either a BB gun or an air rifle.  The shop assistant handed over a small amount of cash before the robber made off.  No shots were fired.

Huddersfield Daily Examiner, 27 November 2006

A thief who was armed with a gun hit a man over the head during a raid on a betting shop in Birkby.  The victim handed over cash and the man fled.

Bromsgrove News, 27 November 2006

A youth claiming to have a handgun escaped empty-handed after attempting to a petrol station in Belbroughton.  However, the only weapon seen was a small wooden baseball bat.

BBC, 26 November 2006 *

A gunman walked into a hotel in Slough and shot a 19-year-old man in the leg before running off.  The victim is being treated in hospital.  Three men are on trial accused of attempted murder and robbery (Daily Mail, 20 February 2008).

This is Bradford, 25 November 2006

Matthew Brakewell, a former police officer, told staff at a Bradford bingo hall that he was an undercover agents but had concocted an elaborate plot to steal money in October 2006 (see Incidents).  When caught he aimed an imitation handgun at two police officers to avoid arrest.  He was jailed for four years.

Stamford Today, 24 November 2006

A man forced a terrified pharmacist to hand over drugs and cash in a raid on a village chemist in Glinton.  He had pulled out what looked like a gun.

Hackney Gazette, 24 November 2006 *

Two men were shot in a drive-by attack in Stoke Newington, east London.  One of the victims died later in hospital.  The second man was able to leave hospital after treatment.    A man has been arrested in connection with the shooting (BBC, 18 July 2007).

BBC, 24 November 2006

A soldier died during an exercise at Lydd firing ranges from a single gunshot wound to the head.  Police have been called to the ranges and are continuing to work alongside Army representatives.

Wakefield Today, 23 November 2006 *

A father was shot in the head with an airgun as he was pushing his 2-year-old son in his buggy on a walk to the shops in Lupset.  A pellet lodged in his head.  The incident happened just 90 minutes after a 16-year-old girl was fired at.  A man has been sent to young offender institution for nine months (see February 2007 Incidents).

ic Surrey, 23 November 2006

A teenager from South Godstone appeared before magistrates accused of having an imitation firearm and driving a car without valid licence or insurance cover.  He will argue that the gun was simply a toy belonging to his son.  The case was adjourned.

Huddersfield Daily Examiner, 23 November 2006

A man threatened a shopkeeper with a handgun and demanded money in an attempted robbery in Lindley.  The shopkeeper pressed an alarm button and the robber fled empty-handed.

Daelnet, 23 November 2006

A man entered a bookmakers in Skipton and threatened staff with a handgun to obtain cash.  He was captured on CCTV.  The gun was described as an old black military type pistol with a long barrel similar to those used by officers in the First World War.

BBC, 23 November 2006

A 16-year-old has been shot in the leg in the latest shooting in the Moss Side area of Manchester.  He was approached by a group of about six people, before one of them shot him in the knee.  He suffered minor injuries.

BBC, 23 November 2006

A man was found dead on the doorstep of a house in Purbrook, Waterlooville.  A shotgun was recovered from the scene.  Police had been called to reports of a domestic disturbance.  Police said the death was not being treated as suspicious. 

BBC, 23 November 2006

A robber, one of two, held a gun to the head of a garage owner in Plymouth and threatened to pull the trigger.  The men burst in when the owner was closing and, after dragging him and an apprentice upstairs, bound him and made off with cash.  Police believe they may have been responsible for another raid in Plymouth at a takeaway restaurant.

Worcester News, 22 November 2006 *

A paper girl, aged 13, was shot between the eyes with a ball-bearing gun while delivering newspapers in Worcester.  A gang of youths were involved in the attack.  The youth who shot her was described as being aged between 14 and 16.  The victim's mother believes her daughter could have lost an eye.  Two youths have been charged with assault and possessing an imitation firearm (BBC, 1 December 2006).

This is Lancashire, 22 November 2006 *

A drunken man, armed with an air rifle, and two accomplices burst into a house in Colne in April 2006 leaving a 10-year-old girl to flee in terror.  Christopher Costello, who was carrying the gun, Ian Jackson and Ashley Cullen, all 18, admitted a charge of affray.  They were looking for a man they claimed had carried out an alleged indecent assault.  The man was not there at the time.  Costello was given a 12-month community order with three-month nightly curfew, Jackson got 40 weeks in prison, suspended for 52 weeks, with supervision and 100 hours unpaid work, and Cullen a similar sentence.  Jackson was subsequently jailed for 40 weeks after flouting his community order (Citizen (Burnley), 6 August 2007).

Reuters, 22 November 2006 *

Three men, Robert Tyrer, Jamie Tyrer and Kenneth Lloyd from Manchester, were sentenced to a total of 37 years in prison for their role in a large gun import racket.  Two other men will be sentenced later.  The gang smuggled blank-firing guns bought legally in Germany into Britain and then converted them to fire bullets.  Most of the guns were simply posted from Germany to Britain in large parcels.  The plot was discovered after a parcel of 14 guns was mistakenly delivered to a shop in a Manchester suburb.  The gang sold the guns, bought for about £80, for £750 after modification.  Some of the guns, 109 out of 274, have been recovered by police.  One of the guns was used in a raid on a Lancashire sub-post office in which the gun was fired, narrowly missing the sub-postmaster.  In October 2005 two men, John Welsby and Maiden Martin were jailed for 13 years and 6 months, respectively, for that robbery.  The sub-postmaster, Jagdish Patel, and his father Kantilal Patel have received bravery awards for chasing and helping to catch the men who had fled empty-handed.  Mr Patel has called for stricter weapon controls (Asian News, 19 December 2006).

Chard & Ilminster News, 22 November 2006

Police dealing with anti-social behaviour during one evening in Ilminster confiscated a BB gun after a 12-year-old boy was seen firing it at a can on a wall.  The officer concerned was worried that a pram behind the wall could have been hit.  The father of the boy criticised the police for confiscating the weapon.

BBC, 22 November 2006 *

A Metropolitan Police officer has been arrested on suspicion of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life after an incident involving a newspaper reporter in West Thurrock, Essex.  The man is in custody.  He faces charges of dangerous driving, possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear and false imprisonment (see July 2007 Incidents).

Avon & Somerset Constabulary, 22 November 2006

Police are warning parents not to be tempted to buy imitation guns for their children this Christmas.  Burnham and Highbridge police have been called to three incidents in the last four days in which imitation guns have been seen by members of the public, prompting emergency calls.  One police officer said that a number of shops and local market stall are selling imitation weapons. 

The Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 will make it illegal to sell, manufacture and import imitation guns.  GCN considers it totally irresponsible for anyone to continue selling them at this time.

National Newspapers, 21 November 2006

A gang of three men held a gun to an eight-year-old boy's head as they stole his mother's car at a filling station in Cheadle.  His mother was vacuuming the car when the gang of three approached and pointed a handgun and dragged the boy from the car.  They drove off in the car which was later found abandoned in Fallowfield after it had collided with a bus.

BBC, 21 November 2006 *

A man who was walking along a street in Netherley, Merseyside, was shot and later died from his injuries.  Two men have been convicted of murder and given long jail sentences (see July 2009 Incidents).

This is Wiltshire, 20 November 2006

Two masked men robbed a security guard at gunpoint outside a supermarket in Trowbridge.  The men escaped with thousands of pounds after the attack.

Sheffield Today, 20 November 2006

Joe Mitchell was spotted by police acting suspiciously in a park in Parson Cross who caught him with a sawn-off rifle and ammunition.  He was followed to the house of his stepfather, Paul Dawson, whom police found trying to hide the weapon.  The rifle was a converted air rifle, the barrel shortened and a silencer attached.  Both men pleaded guilty to possessing the Martini Action rifle without a certificate, having a firearm in a public place and a silencer attached.  Mitchell was sentenced to 12 months in a young offenders' institution, Dawson was given a community order and 100 hours of unpaid work.

The Press (York), 20 November 2006

Gilbert Alexander Cook, a released murderer, broke his parole conditions by carrying an air rifle.  He was seen on Strensall Common with a friend and two air rifles, which at one point were worn openly on their shoulders.  They told two members of the public that they were looking for rabbits.  The case was adjourned.  The Home Office will make a final decision on whether Cook is recalled to prison to continue serving his life sentence.

Gazette & Herald, 20 November 2006 *

Armed police surrounded a block of flats in Melksham, Wiltshire, after a stand-off with a gunman.  A stun gun was used to disarm the man who was arrested on suspicion of possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life.  The man has been given a suspended jail sentence after admitting a charge of affray (see February 2007 Incidents).

BBC, 20 November 2006

Three men armed with two guns threatened security staff near a cash machine at a supermarket in Great Barr, Birmingham.  An amount of cash was stolen.

BBC, 19 November 2006 *

A man was shot dead in a bar in Shoreditch, east London, while celebrating a friend's birthday.  There was an argument with another man which police said led to the shooting.

Eastbourne Today, 18 November 2006

Police were called to a street in Eastbourne after a member of the public claimed to have seen a man with a gun.  A man was searched but no gun was found, although he was charged with possession of an offensive weapon.

BBC, 18 November 2006

Two robbers forced a female security guard to the floor and threatened her with a handgun in a robbery outside a bank in Oxted, Surrey.  Cash was taken from a security van before the men drove off.

This is Wiltshire, 17 November 2006

Gary Burbridge, a murderer released on licence after serving 10 years for beating a toddler to death, could be returning to jail after being caught with a firearm.  He was with two teenagers on a canal towpath in Hilperton when police were called to investigate reports of someone firing an air rifle.  He was observed apparently kneeling and looking through the scope of the gun, but ran off.  He went to a police station the next day and handed over the rifle.  He claims he didn't fire the gun.  He was specifically banned from possessing a firearm on the terms of his licence.  The case was adjourned and Burbridge released on conditional bail.

Oxford Mail, 17 November 2006

A gunman fired a pellet from an airgun which shattered the rear window of a van.  It appears the gunman was a motorist angry at being blocked off at a roundabout at the M40 services at Wheatley.  He had followed the van driver for seven miles before the shooting incident, which took place at Thame (Oxford Mail, 18 November 2006).

Citizen (Blackburn), 17 November 2006

Taxi drivers in Blackburn are threatening to stop working at night after a driver had a gun held to his head by two hooded raiders in Bank Top.  The robbers attempted to steal cash and the car but left with neither.

BBC, 17 November 2006

Two people are being held on suspicion of conspiracy to rob after an attack in Lozells in Birmingham in which a ball bearing or pellet gun was fired and two shopkeepers were left with facial injuries.  Both victims require surgery.  The incident may be linked to the murder of a man in nearby Newtown (see below).

BBC, 17 November 2006 *

A 20-year-old was shot dead in a possible revenge attack in Newtown, Birmingham.  A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder.  Three men were originally convicted of murder, but a judge has ruled the verdicts "unsafe" and replaced them with convictions for violent disorder.  They were each re-sentenced to four year imprisonment.  None of them had fired the 12-bore shotgun used to kill the victim after about 25 youths ran amok (BBC, 19 November 2010).

BBC, 17 November 2006

Four people were taken to hospital with minor injuries after a shotgun was fired through the glass door of a pub in Sheffield.  The police believe the incident followed a dispute between two groups of people in the area.

BBC, 17 November 2006

Two men armed with shotguns robbed a post office in the village of Northwold, Norfolk.  No shots were fired and no-one was injured although the postmistress was left extremely shaken by the incident.

This is Cheshire, 16 November 2006

Police are hunting a gunman who held up a store in Widnes.  He produced a black handgun and demanded that the safe was opened.  But he panicked and fled empty-handed.

The Press (York), 16 November 2006

A court has heard how a teenager was shot three times by a man wielding an air pistol in a residential street in York in February 2006.  The man, who has denied possessing a firearm with intent to make the victim fear unlawful violence and wounding the youth, is alleged to have pulled his weapon out from his clothing without warning as the victim and his friends were walking home.  A pellet had to be removed by surgery from the 17-year-old's face and he was also shot in the hand and leg.  The incident is alleged to have followed a fight between one of the victim's friends and a housemate of the accused.  The trial continues.

Northern Echo, 16 November 2006

A female security guard was held at gunpoint during an armed raid at a supermarket in Eaglescliffe.  Two men armed with handguns forced the woman to hand over money then ran into a nearby housing estate.

Milton Keynes Today, 16 November 2006

A woman teacher was confronted by two young men whilst working alone in a classroom of a school in Bletchley.  One of the youths produced what looked like a gun and demanded she hand over her valuables.  She gave them only a school bag and they left, but searched other rooms and offices.  The incident has sparked fears about security at the school.  Three people, two aged 18 and one 16, have been arrested and were questioned before being released on police bail.

Horsham Today, 16 November 2006

A Horsham resident with a ball bearing gun was arrested during the town's Remembrance Day parade.  The person was spotted leaning out of the window of a flat with the gun, and was given a caution.  The gun was destroyed.

Harlow Star, 16 November 2006

A security guard was threatened at gunpoint during a raid on a bank in Epping.  Two men, one of whom was brandishing a gun ordered the guard to hand over the cash box he was carrying.

East London and West Essex Guardian, 16 November 2006

The paper had reported that a live round of ammunition, a .22 calibre short round, had been found in Walthamstow High Street, in the doorway of a shop.  Since the article was posted on the website the paper had been bombarded with e-mails, all but one from the USA, questioning why this should be an issue.  Many boasted that they carried a handful of bullets around in their pockets.  However the law is very different here, and as a local councillor said, "As far as the council and the police are concerned, this a serious offence.  It [the bullet] could not have got there by any legal means."

Dearne Today, 16 November 2006

A gunman opened fire on two men during a car chase through the streets of Thumscoe following a raid on a post office.  The men were pursuing three robbers who had entered the post office, brandishing a handgun.  They forced customers to lie face down on the floor while they stole money from security guards who were refilling a cash machine.

Citizen (Chorley), 16 November 2006

A female sales assistant at a store in Croston was confronted by two raiders, one whom was brandishing what appeared to be a handgun.  A small amount of cash and a safe were stolen.

Cambs24, 16 November 2006

A masked armed robber threatened a security guard with a handgun before stealing a money box from a bank in Stansted.  An undisclosed amount of money was taken.

BBC, 16 November 2006 *

Three armed burglars, who battered a woman to death and stole her car, went on to attack another family in Hillingdon where a man and his two children were asleep.  One of them brandished a fake gun while another fetched one of the children from her room and held a knife to her throat.  They were forced to escape when the father grabbed the gun and used it to hit all three of them.  He was stabbed in the knee.  Two brothers, Dean Atkins and Michael Atkins, have been convicted of murder, aggravated burglary, wounding and possessing an imitation firearm.  The third man involved, Thomas Carty, committed suicide while on remand (BBC, 26 February 2008).

Herts24, 15 November 2006

Garry Shales waved a loaded air pistol (a replica of a Walther handgun) in his ex-girlfriend's face.  He pleaded guilty to possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.  He had used the gun in the back garden to fire at objects around the garden.  Shales had attacked the woman as she got into a friend's car in Hatfield on May 2006.  He had already been spared a prison sentence after a previous attack.  He was sentenced to 20 months in prison.

Huddersfield Daily Examiner, 15 November 2006

A robber with a silver pistol raided a post office in Birchencliffe and threatened staff with the gun.  They were forced to hand over cash.  The man fled and was driven away by an accomplice.  The staff had suffered a similar ordeal four weeks earlier.

Cambs24, 15 November 2006

A man from March pleaded not guilty when he faced charges of possessing a firearm, a TX200 air rifle, without a certificate and ammunition without a certificate, both charges contravening Section 1 of the Firearms Act.  He has been released on unconditional bail.

ic Croydon, 14 November 2006

A man and a woman have been arrested after two bus passengers suffered stab wounds in Wallington.  The man was charged with two counts of grievous bodily harm, two counts of assaulting police officers and both were charged with possession of two shotguns and one handgun, two counts of possessing ammunition of possessing cocaine with intent to supply.

This is Bradford, 13 November 2006

A man is being guarded by police in hospital following a suspected gun incident in Great Horton.  The incident followed a serious public order incident in Wrose, Shipley, to which it is being linked.  The police have not confirmed all the details.

South Essex Echo, 13 November 2006 

Armed police swooped on a 15-year-old girl's birthday party after gun-wielding thugs tried to gatecrash. A group of 20 youths stormed the party in Southend. One friend was left bleeding from a wound to his head after being hit by a gun. The party on Saturday evening started with a group of girls being turned away because they were not invited.

BBC, 13 November 2006

An air rifle, pellets and cannabis were seized from a house in Sheerness, Kent, after an alleged assault in which a man was hit with a pellet whilst walking in the street.

BBC, 13 November 2006

Traffic in the city centre of Bath was halted as police came to the aid of a taxi driver who was being held at gunpoint.  Three men apparently threatened the driver with a gun.  A man was disarmed and all three were taken away by police.  What's believed to be an imitation firearm was recovered (Avon & Somerset Constabulary, 14 November 2006).

Sunday Sun, 12 November 2006 

A 16-year-old boy was said to be in custody after a firearms incident in Blakelaw, Tyneside.

Sunday Sun, 12 November 2006 

The house of a man cleared of murder was yesterday the target of a gunman.  The man was asleep upstairs in his house in Cowgate, Newcastle, when a gold-coloured bullet smashed through a window and landed in the living room where his terrified girlfriend was watching TV.

Bedfordshire on Sunday, 12 November 2006

Children were warned about the dangers of carrying imitation firearms after a policeman confiscated a number of BB guns.  A man had been hit in the face by a plastic pellet from a gun fired by a young child in Brickhill.  Police found that children aged 9 and 10 had been playing in the street with three of these weapons.

BBC, 12 November 2006

Three youths have been arrested after police received reports that people were being targeted by air rifles at Penshaw, near Washington.  Members of the public became worried about their safety.  Several air rifles were seized.

BBC, 12 November 2006 *

A 25-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the shooting of a police officer in the Graiseley area of Wolverhampton.  The constable was shot twice in the shoulder at close range after he and a colleague chased a man seen acting suspiciously.  He is in a serious but stable condition in hospital.  A man is in court facing charges of attempted murder and two counts of possessing a firearm (see June 2007 Incidents).

Portsmouth.co.uk, 11 November 2006

A man armed with several kitchen knives was immobilised with a Taser stun-gun and arrested by police in Wymering.

Sheffield Today, 10 November 2006

A masked gunman opened fire on a home in High Green.  A man wearing a balaclava pointed a twin-barrelled shotgun at the house and fired repeatedly, hitting brickwork.  He then shot at the front grille of the family's van which was parked in the street.  Police officers recovered ammunition casing outside the house.

This is Hampshire, 9 November 2006

A teenager was injured when a fellow pupil fired a ball-bearing gun in the canteen of a school in Chandler's Ford.  He was hit near his right eye when the other pupil was "playing" with the plastic gun before lessons.  He has suffered from a sore eye and blurred vision since the incident.  A 15-year-old was arrested and cautioned for possessing an air weapon in a public place.  The gun was destroyed.

Eastern Daily Press, 9 November 2006

A man has been accused of threatening two security guards with a double barrelled sawn off shotgun.  Police surrounded a vehicle in the car park of a pub in Stiffkey after an earlier incident in which the guards were threatened at a caravan park at Wells.  A man was arrested on suspicion of firearms offences and then sectioned under the Mental Health Act at a secure hospital.

Morecambe Today, 8 November 2006

In the last 12 months there have been 35 instances of vandalism on churches in Morecambe.  Among the damage caused have been windows that have been smashed with ball bearing guns.

Manchester Evening News, 8 November 2006

A boy of five was shot in the head after a group of youngsters were apparently targeted with airguns.  The boy was yards from the back door of his house in Hollinwood when he was hit on the temple by a lead pellet.  He was taken to hospital and has made a full recovery.  Two men, aged 18 and 20, have been bailed on suspicion of assault and possession of an air weapon.

ic Solihull, 8 November 2006

A shop assistant in a video store in Monkspath was shot in the eye with an airgun by armed raiders.   The victim is recovering at home after being rushed to hospital with serious bruising and internal bleeding.  According to a colleague he is "still not out of the woods".  After firing the gun the raiders made a run for it empty handed.  CCTV footage is being reviewed (Birmingham Mail, 13 November 2006).

Cirencester.co.uk, 8 November 2006

Police are appealing for witnesses after receiving a report of shots being fired from what is believed to be a BB gun in Cirencester. The shots came from a black sports car as it travelled through the town centre.

Luton Today, 6 November 2006

A motorist was shot in the foot by a gunman after his car was rammed in Slip End.  The victim was forced to run onto the nearby M1 in a bid to escape his attackers.

ic Birmingham, 6 November 2006

A man was fighting for his life in hospital after being shot repeatedly at point-blank range on a busy street in Birmingham.  Police were questioning three men, all aged in their 20s, who were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.  A firearm was recovered.

The Citizen (Blackburn), 6 November 2006

Nicola Eyre and Jade Walker shot a pub manager with a stun gun and stole £1000 for a shopping trip to the Trafford Centre.  Eyre was a former employee of the pub on the Blackburn and Oswaldtwistle border and her voice was recognised.  Both women pleaded guilty to robbery and possession of a prohibited weapon and were jailed for two years.

Cambridge Evening News, 6 November 2006

A man who was cycling back from a routine shopping trip in Fulbourn was the victim of a drive by shooting.  A gang took a potshot from a passing car and the airgun pellet that lodged in the man's thigh had to be removed by surgery.

This is Nottingham, 4 November 2006

Anthony Billson has been jailed after buying a stun gun on the internet out of "curiosity".  He had used the weapon, which is illegal, once when he was drunk.  The weapon was discovered in a shoe box at his home in Sutton-in-Ashfield in June 2006 along with drug equipment, cannabis and amphetamines.  He admitted possession of the drugs and the weapon but said he had not realised the gun was a prohibited weapon.  Billson was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Press Association, 4 November 2006

A former Coronation Street star is to be questioned by police after a gun and ammunition were allegedly found during a raid at his home in Salford.

BBC, 4 November 2006

Four people, three of them teenagers, have been arrested after a series of paintball gun attacks in west Berkshire.  They are thought to be linked and follow a burglary at a paintball centre in Pangbourne in October 2006.  Three teenagers and a woman have all had paintballs fired at them, causing minor injuries, and a number of homes have been hit.

Peterborough Today, 3 November 2006

A man was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and firearms offences following an incident in which a bullet was fired through the window of a flat in the centre of Peterborough in October 2006.

Personal Communication, 3 November 2006

A mother from Oxfordshire wrote to us because we had not seen a report about her son's shooting with an air rifle earlier this year.  We have now added the incident to the list for April 2006.  The incident was another serious airgun incident involving a young teenager, and we believe it is important to provide more details (see Personal Accounts).

Guardian, 3 November 2006

Carl Dobson and his associate Anthony Green were jailed for a minimum of 30 years for murder for a revenge attack on a music producer in a row over lyrics which allegedly insulted Dobson's half-brother.  A handgun was held to the victim's head before he was shot in the back as he tried to escape.  He was also shot in the leg with a Mac-10 machine gun.  The murder took place in Chingford in November 2005 (This is Local London, 3 November 2006) (see Incidents).

Oxford Mail, 2 November 2006

Marc Daniel-Youngs was caught through DNA fingerprinting five years after a burglary in Shrivenham.  He had been chased from a property by a woman, whom he had threatened with a replica handgun, and ordered to give her back what he had stolen.  Daniel-Youngs admitted an aggravated burglary charge and was given a two-year suspended sentence and paid £1000 in compensation.

Liverpool Echo, 2 November 2006

Windows have been shot out with BB guns and air rifles at a leisure centre in Walton during a number of recent attacks on leisure facilities on Merseyside. 

Lancaster Today, 2 November 2006

Stephen Evans gave himself up in a 'negotiated surrender' when police had surrounded his house in Heysham after he had pointed an air rifle at his estranged partner's home.  Two .22 air rifles were found in his house.  He was convicted of possessing an air rifle with intent to cause fear of violence.  He received a 12 month jail sentence, suspended for two years.  (See also September 2006 Incidents)

The Argus, 2 November 2006

The owner of an off-licence in Woodingdean, Brighton, has described the moment when one of his staff was threatened by a gunman.  The woman shop assistant was worried the masked raider, who has still not been caught, might return. The raider, who was wearing a hood and a scarf covering his face, except for his eyes, walked into the shop brandishing a gun.

This is Local London, 1 November 2006

A teenager died and two other men were injured when they were shot outside a nightclub in Camberwell Green.  Police were called to reports of a disturbance between two groups of men outside the club.

Reuters, 1 November 2006

Flying Squad detectives supported by firearms officers shot and killed a man in New Romney, Kent, as part of an operation to prevent a suspected armed robbery.  The death is being investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.  It later emerged that the police officer who shot the man had also taken part in the fatal shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes at Stockwell underground station in July 2005 (Independent, 2 November 2006).  An inquest was told that the dead man, Bob Haines, received multiple gunshot wounds.  Three other men have been charged with robbery and possessing a firearm (Kent on Sunday, 12 November 2006).  An inquest jury reached a verdict of lawful killing (Kent Online, 25 January 2010).

Northwich Chronicle, 1 November 2006

Employees at  a cash-and-carry in Northwich were subjected to a terrifying ordeal by armed robbers who escaped with a substantial amount of money.  One of the robbers carried what is believed to be a sawn-off shotgun.

Hornsey & Crouch End Journal, 1 November 2006

A 19-year-old victim was fighting for life after being shot in the head outside a talent show in Hornsey.  Trouble began when a group of young men were refused service at the bar and were told to leave the building.

Hartlepool Today, 1 November 2006

A post office was raided in Hartlepool by a man wearing a Halloween mask.  He produced what appeared to be a gun, but left the store empty handed after shop staff threatened to press a panic button.

BBC, 1 November 2006

A court has heard how Yvonne Newman shot her female ex-partner with an air rifle then beat her with a walking stick at the house they shared in Pinner, north-west London.  The air rifle shot missed.  Newman pleaded guilty to attempted grievous bodily harm with intent, and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.  She was given a 51-week prison sentence, suspended for two years.

BBC, 1 November 2006

Two people have been charged with possessing a prohibited weapon, a Taser stun gun.  The woman and the teenager are both from Clacton.

BBC, 1 November 2006

A 19-year-old member of the Gooch Close gang has been convicted of the murder of another teenager gunned down at a house in Hulme in September 2005 (see Incidents).  The victim was a member of a rival gang.  The teenager, who cannot be named, will be sentenced at a later date.

Liverpool Echo, 31 October 2006 *

An inquest has heard that Christopher Woods, 20, was at a friend's house in Anfield, smoking cannabis and playing computer games when he pointed a pistol at each of his friends and then placed it under his chin and pulled the trigger (see April 2006 Incidents). The "crude" replica weapon had been converted to fire steel ball bearings and was faulty.  Christopher died when his life support machine was turned off.  His mother has vowed never to let her toddler son have a toy gun and warned parents of the dangers of guns.  A verdict of death by misadventure was recorded (BBC, 30 October 2006).

Leamington Spa Today, 31 October 2006

Matthew Collins appeared in court after being charged with possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.  He pleaded guilty to the charge that he had fired a powerful air rifle at the rear of a vehicle occupied by two people whom he claimed had made violent threats towards him when they visited him at his caravan in Combroke.  He was sentenced to nine months imprisonment suspended for two year (Leamington Spa Today, 30 November 2006).

Daily Record, 31 October 2006

It has been reported that Prince William lost an L86 assault rifle during firing practice at Sandhurst.  The weapon was picked up and used by another cadet who handed it back two hours later.

BBC, 31 October 2006 *

A newsagent was taken to hospital after being subjected to a violent attack during an armed robbery.  Police said three men armed with a handgun and a knife went into the shop in Blackburn. One man forced the shopkeeper to hand over the till's contents - about £700 - before attacking him with the knife.

This is Bradford, 30 October 2006

A man who fled from a road accident in Keighley was carrying what is believed to have been a rifle or some other firearm.

Peterborough Today, 30 October 2006

Armed police swooped on a street in Peterborough after reports that a man was seen wielding a handgun or a knife.  Nobody was arrested following the incident but officers are still investigating the disturbance.

Monsters & Critics, 29 October 2006 *

A man has been charged with attempted murder after shots were fired at two police officers investigating a reported bank robbery in Finchley Road, north London.  No police officers were injured in the shooting, but a female police officer was treated in hospital for a cut to her eye (This is Local London, 30 October 2006).  Two men have received long jail sentences (see November 2007 Incidents).

This is Exeter, 28 October 2006

Stephen Cunningham Young, a former police employee responsible for firearms, was given a caution for possessing an air pistol with a self-contained gas cartridge system at a nightclub in Exmouth (see September 2006 Incidents).  The judge at the court hearing brought the prosecution to an end after Young, who had pleaded not guilty, agreed to be cautioned.

Mirror, 28 October 2006

A gunman fired at a man and two boys as they fished at a private lake in South Ockenden, Essex, without permission.  The man was told he should not be fishing and to clear off, but he and the boys had got five yards away when two shots were fired.  A man has been arrested. 

Rochdale Observer, 27 October 2006

Armed robbers, one with a gun, got away with a large amount of cash in a raid on a post office in the village of Calderbrook, Littleborough.  Security guards were making a cash delivery at the time. 

Prestwich & Whitefield Reporter, 27 October 2006

Sufyan Sarwar has been jailed for 12-and-a-half years after shooting a man in the head in Salford in April 2006 (see Incidents).  He had arranged to meet the victim, who has suffered long-term damage to his speech, to pay back a debt but shot him twice.

Huddersfield Daily Examiner, 27 October 2006

A betting shop manager was robbed at gunpoint as he locked up the premises in Milnsbridge.  He handed over his bag, which contained cash, to the robber who grabbed the bag and fled.  The raider had pointed a silver handgun towards the victim's chest.

Cambridge Evening News, 27 October 2006

A man tried to rob three male students in Arbury.  When they refused to hand over their bags he threatened them with what appeared to be an imitation firearm.

Yorkshire Post, 26 October 2006

Guy Tasker shot and killed a young father in a "completely random, motiveless and pointless" attack was jailed for life (minimum 28 years).  Tasker had obtained a shotgun to injure or at least frighten one of a group of friends who had been mocking him.  Instead he shot a wholly innocent man who was making a snowman for his daughter in a street in Grimsby in December 2005 (see Incidents).  Tasker was high on drink and drugs and in a state of extreme agitation.

Observer News, 26 October 2006

A woman was manoeuvring her car in Bishop's Stortford when she was approached by two men.  She was threatened at gunpoint and the men climbed into her car and drove off.

Lakeland Radio, 26 October 2006

Two men were arrested for possessing an imitation firearm in a public place at Oxenholme station.

ic Coventry, 26 October 2006

A man pointed a gun at a cashier's head during a robbery at a supermarket in Coleshill.  No one was injured, but all three staff members were left badly shaken.  The gunman grabbed money for the till and ran out.

Halifax Today, 26 October 2006

According to an article the West Yorkshire Police website reports that a gas powered ball-bearing gun was confiscated from a local youth in Sowerby Bridge.

BBC, 26 October 2006 *

Six air rifle pellets pierced a fire engine as a crew attended a bonfire-related scene in Watcombe, Torquay.  Firefighters in Torquay will now get a police escort in the run-up to Guy Fawkes night.

News Shopper, 23 October 2006

Three men raided a jewellers in Beckenham, stealing jewellery from the window displays at gunpoint.

Evening News (Norwich), 23 October 2006

Jamie Browne, a 19-year-old who was one of a group of youths who fired air rifles at cars travelling on the A47 near Costessey, was given a deferred prison sentence to give him a chance to mend his ways.  He was one of three youths arrested in October 2005 after cars were hit by air pellets.  Browne had to forfeit the air weapons so they could be destroyed.

Evening Star, 23 October 2006

Airgun vandals have shot at two windows at the home of a woman in Ipswich.  The victim is worried that that they could hit somebody unintentionally.

Life Style Extra, 22 October 2006

 A man found with a number of gunshot wounds in an alleyway in Clapham was pronounced dead at the scene.  Police have launched a murder hunt.

24Dash.com, 20 October 2006 *

Two teachers were attacked outside a school in Bristol with a stun gun.  One male teacher was hit after being confronted with one or two men and when a woman teacher came to his aid she was assaulted and suffered a broken jaw.  A teenager has admitted assault, grievous bodily harm and possession of a weapon (see July 2007 Incidents).

Shropshire Star, 19 October 2006

Armed police sealed off part of Shrewsbury town centre following reports of a man wielding a gun.  Traffic was halted during the operation.  A man has been arrested on suspicion of possessing a prohibited weapon and has been bailed pending further enquiries (BBC, 20 October 2006).

Sheffield Today, 19 October 2006

A 17-year-old female shop assistant was held up at gunpoint in Wincobank, Sheffield.  Two masked men burst in and demanded cash.  When the assistant called to a colleague one of the men pointed the gun in the second woman's face.

Macclesfield Express, 18 October 2006

Three boys were captured on camera as they walked through Macclesfield town centre with two of the boys carrying what police fear may be guns.  The photograph was taken on CCTV in late September.  The police believe the guns were likely to be BB guns but said armed police could easily have been scrambled to the scene with potentially fatal consequences.

ic Surrey, 18 October 2006

East Grinstead has suffered two air rifle attacks just days apart.  In the second incident the windows of a theatre and arts centre were peppered with holes at an estimated cost of £600 to repair.  This followed an attack on a car (see below).

BBC, 18 October 2006 *

Two men have been charged with smuggling offences after firearm components, knives and ammunition were allegedly found in a vehicle at Dover docks.  Both men have been jailed for 12 years (see July 2007 Incidents).

ic Coventry, 17 October 2006

A shop assistant at an off licence in Leamington was on her own when a man walked in and asked her to hand over the contents of the till.  He told her not to press the shop's panic button and that he would shoot her unless she did.  He had a bag with him and pointed it at her saying he had got a gun. £65 was stolen.

BBC, 17 October 2006

A 15-year-old boy has been charged after armed police recovered a firearm on a bus in Weoley Castle, Birmingham.  He was charge with possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.

This is Hertfordshire, 16 October 2006 *

A second man has been shot dead in London over the weekend.  Another 22-year-old was killed in Ealing.  Two other men suffered gunshot wounds in the shooting at an office used by the Eastern European community as a social venue.  One of the gunmen responsible has been jailed for at least 33 years (see July 2007 Incidents).  A year later a second man was jailed for a recommended minimum term of 34 years (Ealing Times, 14 October 2008).  In another incident a man was left fighting for his life after being shot outside a nightclub at Elephant and Castle, south London.  Police believe the man was shot accidentally while another clubber, who was shot in the buttock, fled from the gunman.

Harrow Times, 16 October 2006 *

A 22-year-old man, David Kerr, was found dead in the communal area at a block of flats in Harlesden.  Police were called to reports of shots being fired.  A post mortem gave the cause of death as a gun shot wound to the chest.  A man has been given a life sentence for murder (see May 2008 Incidents).

GCN was contacted by a friend of David's to say that on 21 October a fund raiser was being held at his local pub in South Harrow to try and raise as much money as possible to pay for funeral expenses and to provide support to his girlfriend and family.  Anyone who would like to make a donation should contact 0208 422 0505.

BBC, 16 October 2006

Two men threatened staff with a firearm at a fast food restaurant in Nottingham city centre.  Members of staff were found locked in a room at the back of the restaurant.  The men stole an undisclosed amount of money.

Peterborough Today, 14 October 2006

A 16-year-old was approached by two youths on bikes and one on foot and was then pulled to the ground and threatened with a ball bearing gun in a Spalding car park.  The gang stole the victim's wallet and mobile phone.  Police are treating it as a serious incident.

Northern Echo, 14 October 2006

A youth has been given a six-month detention and training order for blinding a girl with an airgun in April 2006 (see Incidents).  Surgeons were unable to save the sight in her eye after the youth shot her in the face with an air rifle on a path at South Bank near Middlesbrough.  He was one of a number of friends who were firing the air weapon at the time.  The teenager was given a consecutive 12-month order for knocking a youth unconscious during an attack filmed on a mobile phone camera.  He had faced other charges to which he pleaded guilty but was given an absolute discharge for these.  The victim's mother was said to have been left devastated by the court sentence.

BBC, 14 October 2006

Four people, including a 14-year-old girl, have been remanded to custody accused of firearms offences.  The girl is accused of conspiring to supply firearms, including revolvers and a machine pistol, and possessing illegal weapons and ammunition.  A youth of 16 is charged with possessing a revolver, cocaine, cannabis and five CS sprays.  The four were arrested in Harrow.  Other firearms and crack cocaine were recovered during the raid.

BBC, 14 October 2006

Three armed men stole cash from a safe at a post office in East Bergholt, Suffolk.  The men were armed with a shotgun, baseball bat and crowbar.  Police are linking the raid with others at post office stores in Suffolk at Wickhambrook and Assington.

Swindon Advertiser, 13 October 2006

Kevin Clarke of Eastleaze, who has served a prison sentence for armed robbery, was caught with an air rifle in August 2006.  He has admitted one count of possessing a firearm after a previous conviction with three-plus years of imprisonment and another of possessing ammunition.  He now faces another jail term.  It was claimed that he had purchased the air rifle that day to shoot at targets in his garden. Clarke was given a three month jail sentence for the firearm offence with a further month on top for failing to surrender to custody (This is Wiltshire, 9 January 2007).

Peterborough Today, 13 October 2006

A primary school in Bretton was attacked by vandals who broke several windows, causing hundreds of pounds of damage.  The windows were shot out with a ball-bearing gun.

Northamptonshire Police Office, 13 October 2006

The police Stolen and Lost Property site includes details of a theft from a house in Kingsheath, Northampton, in which a gas-powered paint ball gun with paint balls in it was stolen.

Leeds Today, 13 October 2006

A man was shot in a hail of bullets in a street in Harehills and was fighting for his life in hospital.  His condition was described as "still critical, but stable".

GCN is grateful to a correspondent who alerted us to this incident.

BBC, 13 October 2006

Two masked men armed with a knife and a handgun robbed a security van as it made a delivery to a bank in Larkfield, Kent.  No shots were fired and no-one is believed to have been hurt.

BBC, 13 October 2006

Marcus Rhoden has been jailed for a minimum of six years and nine months after admitting firing a shot at two armed policeman in Huddersfield in November 2005 (see Incidents).  The officers needed hospital treatment after the incident.

BBC, 13 October 2006

Two crews from the North East Ambulance Service were targeted with air weapons in separate incidents in Middlesbrough.  No one was injured but damage was caused to two vehicles which were taking patients to hospital.  The attacks follow recent incidents against crews on Tyneside.

BBC, 12 October 2006

Nine soldiers are to be prosecuted over allegations of smuggling guns out of Iraq to trade for drugs and cash.  The soldiers are from the 3rd Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment (The Duke of Wellington's Regiment) based in Warminster.  The charges follow a criminal inquiry by the Royal Military Police.  See also December 2006 Incidents.

BBC, 12 October 2006

A landlady and her partner were locked in a cupboard when armed robbers broke into her pub in Wigan.  The three men threatened the couple with a gun and knife.  Money and cigarettes were stolen.

BBC, 12 October 2006

A woman was arrested in Newcastle after staff at a Chinese takeaway were threatened with a gun.  The weapon was a ball-bearing pistol according to police.  Staff were left shocked but uninjured.

BBC, 12 October 2006

A man has been accused of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life, false imprisonment and wounding following an incident at the West Indian Carnival in Moss Side, Manchester, in May 2006.  Shots were fired and a man was taken against his will.

BBC, 12 October 2006 *

A man is in a critical condition in hospital after being shot in the Holbrooks area of Coventry.  He underwent surgery but remained critically ill two weeks later.  He was hit four times outside his home when he confronted four masked men but the motive is not known (ic Coventry, 24 October 2006).  A man who six weeks later murdered a man in Netherley, Merseyside, has been convicted of attempted murder (see July 2009 Incidents).

ic Surrey, 11 October 2006

A motorist in East Grinstead reported having a window broken with what was believed to be an air weapon.  A police helicopter circled over the town centre.

ic Liverpool, 11 October 2006

A man is recovering in hospital after suffering a gunshot wound to his stomach.  The wound appeared to have been caused by an airgun pellet.  The incident occurred in a street in Kirkdale.

Citizen (Blackpool), 10 October 2006

A Blackpool hotelier who issued a warning about the dangers of providing free internet access after problems with two guests also reported that some lads (whom he believes were responsible) were seen firing BB guns from a window at the hotel at girls outside.

Rye & Battle Today, 9 October 2006

A team of police locked down the village of Crowhurst after a resident saw a man with a rifle or shotgun wandering around.  No sign of the man was found after a two hour search.

East Anglian Daily Times, 9 October 2006

A shopkeeper in Clacton has described how he tackled an armed robber wearing a Scream mask who held a gun (a black pistol) at his head.  Two raiders had burst into the newsagents.  The raiders fled.

Daily Post, 9 October 2006

An armed police unit was sent to Liverpool Lime Street station after reports that a man had been seen with a firearm on a train on a Wigan to Liverpool service.  The train was brought to a halt just outside the station.  A man was arrested on suspicion of being in possession of an imitation firearm.

BBC, 9 October 2006

Four teenagers were arrested after a car containing youths and a shotgun were reported in Ashford, Kent.  Armed response units were called out and saw the car on the M20.  The vehicle crashed shortly afterwards in WillesboroughImitation firearms (two imitation shotguns and a soft air weapon) were found in the car.  The four, aged between 15 and 19, were held for firearms offences, burglary and stealing a car.

BBC, 8 October 2006

A man was arrested after another man said he was being threatened with a handgun.  Police had been called to premises in Felling, Gateshead.  During their search a cannabis farm was discovered.

Lancashire Evening Post, 7 October 2006

Police in Preston have said that home-made weapons were being handed out from a "lending library" for specific crimes so known suspects were never caught with them.  Criminals were resorting to home-made devices rather than more powerful manufactured weapons.  In 2004/05, 160 of the 259 firearms incidents in Lancashire involved weapons like ball bearing guns.

Blackpool Today, 7 October 2006

Three raiders burst into a Blackpool jewellers and pocketed £100,000 worth of designer watches.  They were armed with a handgun and hammers.  Police are not convinced that the men were the same ones who robbed another jewellers in Blackpool in September (see Incidents), even though there were several significant similarities.

Scarborough Today, 6 October 2006

Following an attack on a bus driver on Barrowcliff in Scarborough local councillors have demanded a crackdown on the sale of ball-bearing guns to young people.  Shopkeepers are selling the guns on the seafront.  The councillors want their local MP Robert Goodwill (Con) to raise the issue in Parliament.

BBC, 6 October 2006

A nightclub in Nottingham has had its licence revoked after a shooting took place there in July 2006 (see Incidents).

This is Bradford, 5 October 2006

A former policeman who works in the security industry will appear in court later this month accused of trying to steal cash from a bingo hall in Bradford by allegedly posing as an undercover officer on a covert operation.  He faces two firearms charges in relation to the incident.  He has been jailed for four years (see November 2006 Incidents).

Harlow Star, 5 October 2006

A man who was shot in the back and face with an airgun has said that it could have ended his career as a graphic designer if he had been struck in the eye.  He was walking along the street a short distance from his home in Pennymead, Harlow when he heard a loud bang and felt a sharp pain in his back.  A youth in a car was pointing an airgun at him which he fired again.

Bridgwater Mercury, 5 October 2006

Two teenagers have been arrested after frightened shop workers spotted them strolling around Bridgwater town centre carrying guns.  The teenagers were carrying ball-bearing guns which were confiscated by police.

BBC, 5 October 2006

Security guards who were filling a cash machine in Paddock Wood, Kent, were robbed by a man who threatened them with a gun.  The gun was not fired.

Muswell Hill Journal, 4 October 2006

A disabled man who had seen youths running past, firing BB guns at his home in Muswell Hill, north London, has been the victim of fire bomb attackers.  He found his car had been torched during the night.

Birmingham Mail, 4 October 2006

A 12-year-old boy escaped serious injury despite being shot in the eye with an airgun as he walked along a street in Cannock.  A man has been arrested in connection with the incident.  Staffordshire Police say they dealt with 63 airgun incidents during the school summer holidays.

The Press, 3 October 2006

An armed man subjected staff at a rural petrol station to a harrowing robbery - and made away with only a wallet and a set of house keys.  Police said two men, one armed with a long-barrelled gun, had entered the petrol station on the A19 at Escrick, North Yorkshire.

BBC, 3 October 2006

A ten-year-old girl who claimed that she had been shot in a park in Wolverhampton with an airgun has admitted she was actually injured while playing with the gun herself.  She was hurt at a friend's house.  She has had stitches in her throat.  A 15-year-old boy who had been arrested was released without charge.

BBC, 3 October 2006 *

Police discovered a dead man in a downstairs room of a property in Wandsworth, south London.  He had been deliberately shot through the glass of his front door.  Police have ruled out burglary and believe the gunman had come with the "intention of killing him".  Almost a year after the murder police made another appeal to trace his killer, revealing that the weapon used was a .22 (BBC, 20 August 2007).

Yorkshire Post, 2 October 2006

A man was recovering in hospital after being shot in the stomach in a Sheffield nightclub.  The victim was among a group in a confrontation in the club.  His injuries were not thought to be life-threatening.

This is Bradford, 2 October 2006

Masked men armed with a handgun threatened shop staff during an armed robbery in Allerton.  Three men entered the store and made off with money from the till and a quantity of cigarettes.

BBC, 2 October 2006

Christopher Harwood, 19, has admitted having a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.  He threatened a woman with a pistol he wore for line dancing by pointing the fake weapon at the woman's head.  The incident happened when he had gone to Fulwood, Preston, to settle a minor argument with an old friend in April 2006.  The victim had come to investigate noises in the middle of the night.  Harwood was sentenced to eight months detention.

BBC, 2 October 2006

A man fled with an amount of cash after threatening two members of staff with a gun at a store in St Osyths, Essex.

BBC, 2 October 2006

A teenager brandishing an imitation firearm on a train sparked an alert by an armed response unit in Colchester.  The 19-year-old was arrested and a ball-bearing gun taken from him.  He was cautioned and released.

BBC, 1 October 2006

Two men have been charged with drug offences after an operation  in Swanley, Kent, in which cocaine was seized.  A handgun and ammunition were also recovered by police in the raid.

Sunderland Today, 30 September 2006

A man was arrested after an assault in Chester-le-Street in which the victim was attacked with a stun-gun.  The man was knocked unconscious by a bolt from the gun which is normally used on animals in slaughterhouses.  The incident is thought to have involved up to 15 people.

The Press (York), 29 September 2006 *

The victim of an armed robber fought back and grabbed his gun.  The man was returning home from a night out in York when he was approached by the gunman who demanded property.  The gunman ran off after the struggle.  The police confirmed that the weapon was an airgun, although it gave all the appearances of being a handgun.  A man has been jailed for five years (see January 2008 Incidents).

Huddersfield Daily Examiner, 29 September 2006

A taxi driver was robbed at gunpoint after he had picked up a passenger in Deighton.  The driver was asked to drive in Sheepridge where the passenger pulled out a silver handgun and demanded money.  The robber demanded more and his mobile phone but rejected the phone and fled.

Blackpool Today, 29 September 2006

A man has appeared in court charged with robbery and with possessing an imitation firearm in the form of a Colt handgun after an armed robbery in which hundreds of pounds were taken from a post office in Blackpool.

BBC, 29 September 2006

Staff at a post office in Loxton, near Axbridge in Somerset, were held at gunpoint in an attempted robbery.

BBC, 29 September 2006

A shop assistant in Lincoln was left "shaken and upset" after an armed robber threatened her with what police believe was a handgun.  The robber was given some cash from the till and ran from the off licence.

BBC, 29 September 2006

In what police have described as a "targeted" shooting, a man was shot in the lower body in Dingle, Liverpool.  He was taken to hospital but his condition is not thought to be life-threatening.

BBC, 29 September 2006

A gunman opened fire on two teenagers outside a McDonald's in Brixton, south London.  One of the victims is in a critical condition after being shot in the chest, the other was shot in the arm and was in a stable condition.  It is not clear whether the boys were queuing outside the restaurant.

BBC, 29 September 2006

An inquest was told that Stephen Hensby of Rawtenstall died after shooting at two police officers who came to speak to him over a claim of harassment from neighbours on July 2005.  One of the police officers was wounded by a shot from a single-barrelled shotgun.  After a siege lasting several hours police entered the house and found that Hensby had shot himself in the head.  The court judged that his death was suicide.

BBC, 29 September 2006

A 16-year-old girl was shot in the shoulder by a gang who were terrorising children in Whalley Edge, Manchester.  She was taken to hospital for treatment although she was not thought to be seriously hurt.

Aylesbury Today, 29 September 2006

A robber held a gun to the back of a shop assistant at a video store in Aylesbury.  He left with an undisclosed amount of cash, leaving two assistants unhurt but very shocked.  A second man was probably involved.

Salisbury Journal, 28 September 2006 *

Motorists in Downton, Woodfalls and Hale in Wiltshire discovered that windows of their cars had been smashed. There were holes in the windows of a pub in Downton during the night.  Cars and property in Woodgreen and Fordingbridge had also been hit.  The number of cars with one or more windows or windscreens shattered was estimated to be as high as 97.  Youths with BB guns are believed to have been responsible for the damage.  A 19-year-old has been given a custodial sentence and a 14-year-old a two year supervision order (see March 2007 Incidents).

ic Surrey, 28 September 2006

Police are investigating the shooting of a man in the forehead in Redhill.  He needed five stitches for a gash above his right eye after the air rifle attack.  A 17-year-old girl suffered a bruised left eye after she was hit in the face with a baseball bat during the incident.  An 18-year-old has been arrested on suspicion of assault.  In another recent incident in the area a seven-year-old boy and a man walking his dog were both victims of a drive-by shooting in Earlswood.  (See also Quotes).

Huddersfield Daily Examiner, 28 September 2006 *

A soldier was shot in the pelvis in an attack in a pub in Marsh, Huddersfield.  The motive is understood to be some sort of grudge.  The victim was recovering at home.  One man has pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder and violent disorder.  Another two men have pleaded not guilty to violent disorder (Huddersfield Daily Examiner, 29 June 2007).

BBC, 28 September 2006

A 16-year-old has been arrested on suspicion of possession of a firearm after he was spotted on CCTV cameras in Northampton carrying a handgun.    An imitation gun was found.

BBC, 28 September 2006

Police are searching for an armed robber who escaped from a prison van after it was raided as the man was being transferred from Redditch to Blakenhurst Prison.  Masked men stopped the van in Redditch and threatened the security staff with a handgun.

BBC, 27 September 2006

Air weapons and miniature crossbows have been found on a canal boat after a man threatened a member of the public with a sawn-off shotgun at a pub in Warwick.  No shots were fired.  A man was arrested on suspicion of being in possession of an imitation firearm in a public place.

Press Association, 26 September 2006 *

A gunman is being hunted after a teenage boy was shot dead at a shopping parade in the Meadows area of Nottingham.  The victim was involved in an altercation with another youth when he was fatally wounded.  The victim had previously been charged with manslaughter in connection with the death of a man in the area in July 2005 but the prosecution against him was dropped due to lack of evidence (BBC, 27 September 2006).  A man has been jailed for a minimum of 30 years for the murder (see July 2007 Incidents).

ic South London, 26 September 2006 *

Three members of the Muslim Boys, a notorious South London gun gang have been given jail sentences for carrying guns and possession of firearms.  Marlon Stubbs, Stefon Thomas and Sanjit Webster were given sentences of at least four years, four years and three-and-a-half years, respectively.  Thomas was also sentenced to six years concurrent for other offences (ic South London, 28 November 2006).  A week before another member of the Muslim boys, Joel Simmonds, was jailed for 10 years for possession of a Mac-10 machine pistol, ammunition, body armour and a stun gun (see below).

Evening Post (Nottingham), 26 September 2006

A legal loophole has meant that Darren Randall escaped a mandatory five year jail sentence because his sawn-off shotgun was too long.  He was jailed for three-and-a-half years after being caught with the gun and a quantity of cannabis in his shed in Bilborough.  The gun was six inches too long to make a five-year sentence inevitable.  The loophole has been criticised by campaigners, MPs and a retired judge.

Chard & Ilminster News, 26 September 2006

Police have recovered an air rifle after a man and a boy were shot in a street in Chard.  Both received minor injuries, thought to be bruising.  A 17-year-old has been arrested.

BBC, 26 September 2006

More than 2000 pupils from schools in Peckham and East Dulwich were sent home early on the advice of police amid fears of gang violence, and recent shootings at London nightclubs (see below).

BBC, 26 September 2006

An air rifle pellet has been shot through the window of a primary school in Telford.  A parents' meeting was in progress at the time.  Police want to speak to a group of youths seen on grassland near the school.

BBC, 25 September 2006 *

Three men were shot in separate shootings at London clubs over the weekend.  One man was killed after being shot at a club in King's Cross and two men survived a shooting outside a club in Brixton.  CCTV footage of people who were present at the King's Cross club was released by the police almost a year after the murder (BBC, 20 August 2007).

BBC, 25 September 2006

A man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after another man was shot in the leg at a house party in Headington, Oxford.  Armed officers were called to the house after reports of a disturbance, probably the result of a group of youths gate crashing the party.  After an argument a man arrived with a gun which he fired in the garden.

Sunday Mirror, 24 September 2006

Mohammed Younis and Rodney Stoute were caught by police when they were driving from Reading to London, with automatic weapons.  They were driving to a suspected shooting to kill a bouncer who had refused to let them in to a club.  The were in a car with the registration G2GUN and were joined by a man riding a motorbike with the licence place G1GUN.  Younis was jailed for six years and Stoute for three years for possessing firearms.

BBC, 24 September 2006 *

A wounded man was taken to hospital with internal injuries after an incident at an address in Lemington, Newcastle.  The victim is critically ill.  Two brothers have been convicted of conspiracy to murder (see December 2007 Incidents).

Sunderland Today, 23 September 2006 *

Three teenagers walked into a school in Ashbrooke, Sunderland, and started taking pot-shots at pupils with a BB gun.  Three pupils suffered minor injuries when they were targeted.  The police said that pupils at the school were obviously shaken by the incident.  The three perpetrators will not face court action (see January 2007 Incidents).

BBC, 23 September 2006

Police are looking for Sean Sutton, whom they describe as "highly dangerous", after a shooting incident in Kennington, south London, earlier in the month.  The victim has been left confined to a wheelchair for life.

BBC, 23 September 2006

A teenager was being treated for wounds to his leg after a number of gun shots were fired in Winson Green, Birmingham.  Details were sketchy but it appeared a number of shots had been fired in the street.

Preston Today, 22 September 2006

Stephen Evans was convicted of possessing an air rifle with intent to cause fear.  He had gone round to the house of his ex-partner in Heysham and pointed the rifle at the front door and bedroom window.  He was given a 12 month jail term, suspended for two years (see November 2006 Incidents).

Lancashire Evening Post, 22 September 2006

A gunman shot a teacher in the leg while repeatedly firing an air weapon at visitors leaving a centre for the visually impaired at Penwortham, near Preston.  Police attended the wrong location and failed to re-contact visitors and staff who were left waiting for 90 minutes inside a building.

ic South London, 22 September 2006

An unarmed police officer, PC Steven Roots, has been honoured with London's top policing award.  He was recognised for his bravery after he overpowered a fleeing gunman, Kingsley Opuku, in a chase in Peckham.  Opuku was found to have a Mac-10 machine pistol, 15 rounds of ammunition, a silencer, replica pistol and bulletproof vest and was jailed for 11 years for possessing firearms in November 2004.

Evening Post (Nottingham), 22 September 2006

A man suffered a minor injury after being shot with a pellet gun in Arnold.  Police rushed to the location after receiving calls about a serious incident.

Spalding Today, 21 September 2006

An airgun was fired at the windows of a mobile building in Sutton Bridge which was used by a playgroup.  No one was in the room at the time.  The damage was discovered when staff attended an evening meeting.

Huddersfield Daily Examiner, 21 September 2006

A man was threatened at gunpoint for his mobile phone.  He had parked his car in a car park in Deighton when he was approached by a man with a gun.  The gunman had two accomplices.

The Comet, 21 September 2006

A gunman blasted the door of a caravan at a travellers' site on the A1 near Sandy, terrifying a man and woman inside.  The shot peppered holes in the door.  After the shooting a car was seen leaving the site.

Bury Times, 21 September 2006

A man was shot in the leg when he answered the door of his home in Bury.  The attacker fled, leaving his victim bleeding heavily on the doorstep.

Sunderland Echo, 21 September 2006

Daniel Stoddart, 18, pushed a friend on to a bed before using an air rifle to shoot him in the temple and the leg at the victim's house in Washington.  The victim, aged 17, has a pellet embedded in his head, inches from his right eye.  He had refused to shoot another friend after being ordered to do so by Stoddart, who has been told he must serve a minimum of six years in jail.

BBC, 20 September 2006

An armed policeman has lost a metal holder containing 15 bullets while on duty in the Nottingham city area.

Oxford Mail, 19 September 2006

A 14-year-old boy may lose the sight of one eye after being hit with a pellet fired from a ball-bearing gun.  He was shot in Greater Leys, Oxford whilst he was out in the street with some friends.  It was alleged that a man was at the bedroom window of a house with a BB gun near to where they were playing.  A man has pleaded guilty to possession of an imitation firearm and causing grievous bodily harm (see February 2007 Incidents).

Monsters and Critics, 19 September 2006

Christopher Hatton has been sentenced to ten years in prison after threatening a police officer with a firearm following an attempt to rob a jewellers in Knightsbridge.  He was found guilty of attempted burglary and possession of a firearm with intent to resist arrest.

Guardian, 19 September 2006

A teenager has been arrested after a schoolgirl was shot in the face with an air weapon during breaktime at a school in Beaumont Leys, Leicester.  She was due to have an operation to remove a ball bearing from her cheek.  She was chatting to friends on a playing field at the time of the incident.

BBC, 19 September 2006

A large quantity of air weapons has been stolen from an angling shop in Woodhatch, Surrey.  A total of 33 air rifles and air pistols were taken.  Police are concerned the weapons could be sold on, and end up in the hands of young people.

BBC, 19 September 2006 *

A man was stabbed to death yards from his front door in south-east London in an attack by a mob of up to 40 youths.  One of the youths had pulled out a gun, aimed and fired several shots before the group dispersed.  Later they are thought to have fired shots in the air outside a community action centre before chasing and stabbing another man in Deptford Wharf.  A coroner has recorded a verdict of unlawful killing at an inquest into the death of the victim (see April 2008 Incidents).

BBC, 19 September 2006

Julia Palmer has admitted kidnapping a man and driving him 170 miles from Lincoln to Croydon.  Two men, one of whom had produced a silver handgun after the victim had got into the car, have denied kidnap charges.  The kidnapping was over an alleged debt owed to a man in Ireland.

BBC, 19 September 2006

A woman has been arrested for allegedly holding a water pistol to the head of a shop worker in South Shields and demanding drugs.  She was arrested on suspicion of causing fear with an imitation firearm.

Yorkshire Post, 18 September 2006

A man with an airgun deliberately targeted a lorry as it travelled on the A1 just north of Blyth services.  The lorry driver heard a noise and caught a glimpse of what appeared to be a gun in the hand of a van driver in the next lane.  Subsequent examination of the lorry revealed damage around the driver's door consistent with a BB gun of small calibre air weapon.

Kenilworth Today, 18 September 2006

Armed police cordoned off a road in Kenilworth after a woman called to say she had seen a man with a gun in a communal garden behind a block of flats.  After two hours the cordon was lifted when officers recovered two air rifles, and air pistol and ammunition from one flat.  A man later reported to the local police station admitting he had been using one of the rifles to shoot at a tin can.

BBC, 18 September 2006

A man was in hospital after suffering gunshot wounds to his buttocks after an incident involving a large group of men in Hillfields, Coventry.

Life Style Extra, 17 September 2006

The A&E department of Homerton hospital in east London was closed for an hour after a patient threatened to kill staff with a gun.  The man was arrested at a nearby address.

BBC, 17 September 2006

A security guard was pushed to the ground and threatened with a gun as he delivered money to a cash point at a supermarket in Doncaster.  Two men were involved in the attack and a third man escaped with them in a stolen car.

Evening Post (Nottingham), 16 September 2006

Nathan Ricketts, an anti-drugs volunteer, has been jailed for eight years after he gave his girlfriend a loaded Mac-10 machine pistol and ammunition.  He was told by the judge that he had no doubt the lethal firearm was destined for criminal hands.  His ex-partner Bernadette Burke pleaded guilty to the same charges and will be sentenced later.  The gun was found in a box of old toys and clothes after police raided Burke's mother's house in Nottingham in October 2006.

BBC, 16 September 2006 *

A man has died after being shot at a nightclub in Bristol.  He suffered a single gunshot wound to the chest and died later in hospital.  A firearm has been recovered during a search of the area (BBC, 17 September 2006).  Four men have been arrested on suspicion of murder (BBC, 10 November 2006).  One of the men was acquitted at a trial in 2007 and the case against the other three has been dropped (BBC, 19 December 2008).

Sunderland Echo, 15 September 2006

An arsenal of weapons was found in a clear-out of a house in Ashbrooke after its owner had died.  The find led to the evacuation of neighbouring homes.  Among the items recovered was machine-gun ammunition.  There were a number of other items including a quantity of shotgun powder which the police believe the man was using to make his own ammunition.  He was a member of a gun club, so according to police it was probably just for cheapness rather than anything untoward.

ic South London, 15 September 2006

Four men were gunned down in five days.  A 19-year-old was hit in the stomach in Camberwell in what was thought to be a case of mistaken identity.  Another man was shot in the back outside a nightclub in Old Kent Road (see below), a cyclist was shot in the knee in Brixton and a man shot outside a barber's in Walworth.

Evening Chronicle (Newcastle), 15 September 2006

Armed police sealed off a street in Walker in their hunt for gunmen behind a spate of robberies (see below).  One men was arrested but it is not known if any weapons were recovered.

Evening Chronicle (Newcastle), 15 September 2006

A man was forced to kneel down with a gun to his head during a terrifying street robbery in North Shields.  Two men confronted the 18-year-old, grabbed him by the throat and dragged him into an alley where a gun was put to his head.  They stole property including an MP3 player and jewellery.

BBC, 15 September 2006

A man from Clapton, one of twelve men arrested in raids in London, has been charged with several offences including providing instruction or training in the making or use of firearms contrary to Section 54(1) of the Terrorism Act 2000.  Another man from Walthamstow had earlier been charged with both providing and receiving training in the making or use of firearms, a man from Putney with possessing a shotgun, in contravention of the Firearms Act (BBC, 13 September 2006), a man from Upper Norwood with receiving training in the use of weapons and an Eltham man with possession of a flare launcher under the Firearms Act (BBC, 12 September 2006).  Twelve men altogether have now been charged following the raids.

BBC, 15 September 2006

Darren Jones, who threatened a passer-by with an air pistol, admitted possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence at Norwich Crown Court.  He has been jailed for 12 months.

BBC, 15 September 2006

Shop staff in Needham Market, Suffolk, were threatened by two men with what police believe was a double-barrelled shotgun.  They men escaped with a quantity of cash.

Evening Post (Nottingham), 14 September 2006

A man shot and killed a woman outside her home in Alvaston, Derby, and then fatally shot himself.  Lenny Yorke shot his ex-partner in front of his daughters.  Police had investigated a domestic incident between the two.  It has emerged that Yorke was an airgun enthusiast who had recently bought two air pistols and ammunition from a Radford airgun shop.  He had set up a shooting gallery in his back garden.  A number of weapons were seized by police when they searched his house.

BBC, 14 September 2006

A gang of armed robbers threatened staff with a gun and stole expensive watches from a jewellers in Blackpool.  The three men ran off.

This is Essex, 13 September 2006

A masked man robbed security guards at gunpoint as they made a cash delivery to a bank in Benfleet.  The robber was driven away by an accomplice.  The bank had also been targeted in March 2006.

Lancashire Evening Post, 13 September 2006

A taxi driver was threatened at gunpoint when he picked up a fare in Preston.  The teenage gunman screamed at him to hand over his takings.

Journal (Newcastle), 13 September 2006

A masked raider fired two gunshots after forcing his way into a sub post office in Walker, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.  The man was armed with a shotgun.  No one was injured and the raider fled when staff activated the alarm.  Earlier in the week two men, one with a handgun, took cash from Denton Park post office.

Hartlepool Today, 13 September 2006

A man wearing a hood held up a shop in Hartlepool at gunpoint before making off with the store's taking.  Two female shop assistances were left petrified by the raider who was armed with a handgun.

Cambs 24, 13 September 2006

A teenager was shot with an air rifle while fishing in Brampton.  He felt a sharp pain near his right hip.  He turned around and saw a young man with what he described as an air rifle.

BBC, 13 September 2006

A man who managed the explosives and firearm licensing department for Devon and Cornwall police has been charged with being in possession of an illegal gun.  He was arrested after an alleged incident in Exmouth when he was allegedly found with a six-shot revolver-style air pistol.  The weapon was gas powered and the man did not have a licence for it.  He has received a caution (see October 2006 Incidents).

BBC, 13 September 2006 *

Hundreds of guns were found at a house in Dartford.  In what was one of the Metropolitan Police's biggest ever weapons seizures, pump-action shotguns, M16 rifles, revolvers and antique firearms were discovered.  One man was arrested and a second man was questioned in linked raids in the United States.  A man has been charged with a number of firearms offence (BBC, 15 September 2006).  See News Items.  A man was on trial facing 22 charges in June 2007 (see Incidents)

Avon and Somerset Constabulary, 13 September 2006

Police are appealing for witnesses to an incident in Keynsham in which an 18-year-old was shot with an air rifle whilst he and a friend were walking in a field.  The victim claims three teenagers were some distance away when one of them fired a gun at him.

Evening Post (Nottingham), 12 September 2006

James Wallace denied four charges of robbery, four charges of possessing a firearm with intent to commit robbery and one count of wounding with intent.  The case followed robberies at three shops and a bookmakers in the Nottingham area between September and October 2006.  Each time the staff were threatened with a fake gun.  Wallace was found guilty on all charges.  Another man who denied robbing a shop, possessing a firearm with intent to commit robbery and wounding with intent  was found not guilty and was acquitted.  Jonathan Scott had earlier pleaded to guilty to five armed robberies, associated firearms offences and grievous bodily harm.  A 17-year-old also pleaded guilty to concealing firearms and conspiring to steal (Evening Post (Nottingham), 16 September 2006).

Peterborough Today, 11 September 2006

A police armed response unit was called to a street in the centre of Peterborough after reports of two men carrying a handgun.  No one has been able to shed light on the whereabouts of the two men.

LondonSE1, 11 September 2006

Police are appealing for information regarding a shooting near the Old Kent Road.  The victim heard a gunshot and turned to see two men with handguns firing at him.  He suffered a number of gunshot wounds to his abdomen.

BBC, 11 September 2006 *

A man was shot in the face at a shop in Portslade, east Sussex.  The victim's injuries are not thought to be life threatening and he is stable in hospital.  The police confirmed there had been "a number of arrests".  Three men have admitted robbery and possessing a firearm and one of them admitted GBH (see May 2007 Incidents).

Bridgwater Mercury, 10 September 2006

Thousands of pounds worth of damage were caused in Bridgwater town centre when a catapult or ball bearing gun was used to smash windows.  Holes the size of golf balls were left in some windows, others had large cracks.

Bedford Today, 10 September 2006

A 12-year-old girl was shot in the face with an airgun while playing with friends on Biggleswade Common.  She was hit in the mouth with a pellet which has resulted in her losing part of her upper lip.  A man, who was said to have been shooting rabbits, was arrested close to the scene.

BBC, 10 September 2006

Two men have been charged with robbery following an incident which closed Finsbury Park station in north London.  The reports of a gunshot inside, but police said that there was no evidence so far that a gun had been fired.

BBC, 9 September 2006

An armed gang hijacked a lorry carrying £15,000 worth of lager from Aveley in Essex.  The two drivers were tied up after they had a gun pushed into their faces.  The lorry was found abandoned in Dagenham.

BBC, 9 September 2006 *

The murder of 15-year-old Jessie James was widely reported in the media.  The teenager was shot in the Moss Side area of Manchester.  His body was found in a park.  He had been hit with three bullets fired from a semi-automatic pistol (Times, 11 September 2006).  Last month three men were shot and wounded in two separate incidents in Moss Side.  Two men have been arrested on suspicion of murder in separate prisons in north west England (Guardian, 10 August 2007).  An inquest has recorded a verdict of unlawful killing, but no-one has been charged with Jessie's murder (BBC, 2 June 2010).

Manchester Evening News, 8 September 2006 *

A gang of four wearing hoodies held up a jewellers in the centre of Manchester with a gun.  They terrified staff with the weapon before snatching handfuls of watches.  A gun was recovered from the scene by police.  A man has admitted his involvement in this and two other robberies and possessing imitation firearms with intent to commit robbery (see September 2010 Incidents).

ic South London, 8 September 2006

Richard Graham pulled a pistol on a policeman as he chased him down an alley in Herne Hill in January 2006.  After a series of bangs Graham escaped but a modified Beretta pistol and two unfired 8 mm cartridges were found.  Forensic experts were unable to prove that he actually filed the gun.  Graham has been jailed for seven years after he denied firing the gun but pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm with intent to resist arrest.

BBC, 8 September 2006

Joel Simmonds was found in possession of a machine gun and stun gun after searches of his house in Lambeth, south east London, and another property in Denmark Hill.  He was convicted in July of various offences and has now received a 10-year jail term.

BBC, 8 September 2006

In another airgun incident in the Stoke-on-Trent area a teenage boy was recovering in hospital after being shot in the leg.  He had walked home following the attack.

This is Hertfordshire, 7 September 2006

Police are trying to trace a car involved in a drive-by shooting in Barnet.  One car chased another along the A1 as several shots were fired.

Mirror, 7 September 2006

A man was in a critical condition in hospital after a hit and run incident involving a motorist armed with a handgun.  The gunman's car hit the pedestrian after he had been arguing with another motorist in the street in East Ham, east London, moments beforehand.

Manchester Evening News, 7 September 2006

Five pubs and restaurants in Oldham were targeted by a drive-by shooter in one night.  Nobody was hurt in the airgun attacks that occurred within half a mile of each other.  Windows were broken and customers and staff were left badly shaken.

Hucknall Today, 7 September 2006

A newsagent was punched in the face and pinned to the floor at gunpoint in an armed robber in Bulwell.

Harrow Times, 7 September 2006

A man was shot at with an air pistol and a second man was stabbed in the stomach when a fight broke out at a party in Wembley.  The injured men were taken to hospital.

Bromsgrove Standard, 7 September 2006

A man was left injured after he was shot by pellets while walking in Bromsgrove.  He suffered serious soreness and bruising.  The pellets were believed to be from a paint ball gun, fired from inside a car.

BBC, 7 September 2006

A man from High Wycombe faces three firearms offences.  He is alleged to have had a Balkal 8mm pistol in his possession, having a magazine clip with 10 rounds of ammunition and possessing a black gun silencer without holding a firearms certificate.  He is one of thirteen men who appeared in court in connection with an alleged plot to blow up airliners (BBC, 18 September 2006).

BBC, 7 September 2006

A man was arrested following an incident involving armed police at a house in Swindon.  There were reports that a man was setting fire to the property.  A pensioner was arrested on suspicion of affray.  A replica firearm was recovered from the scene.

BBC, 7 September 2006

Two hooded men raided a pub in the Meadows, Nottingham.  They threatened customers with a handgun and demanded cash before running off with a cash drawer from the till.  No shots were fired during the incident.

ic Surrey, 6 September 2006

A 12-year-old boy narrowly escaped serious injury after thugs fired at him from a passing car with a BB gun.  He was cycling in Southgate when he was approached by the car.

ic South London, 6 September 2006

Residents were in shock following a shooting at a family home in Welling.  Police are still hunting the gunman who blasted shots of the house.  The family had only moved in recently.

Ealing Times, 6 September 2006

A pensioner was shot at by a masked intruder, and then he chased the man along his street in Hanwell.  He suffered a slight injury to his hand.

BBC, 6 September 2006

A policeman is recovering in hospital after being shot in the back of the neck with an air weapon.  He was with other officers who responded to reports of projectiles hitting windows in Ridgeway, Sunderland.  Two youths were arrested at the scene.

Northumbria Police, 5 September 2006

An 8-year-old boy, who was playing in the garden of a house in North Tyneside, was shot in the head with an air rifle.  He suffered a pellet wound to the side of his head.  A 16-year-old male youth was arrested and an air weapon seized.

Injury Watch, 5 September 2006

A 16-year-old boy has lost the sight in one eye and has a pellet permanently embedded in his brain following an incident with an air rifle.  The boy, from Featherstone in Staffordshire, was playing with the weapon (a Westlake B2) in a wooded area when it went off.  The gun had been bought at a car boot sale.  The police have seized the weapon and initial investigations have raised concerns.  Similar models have also been seized and test seem to show that the weapon may fire when dropped on the ground.

ic Coventry, 5 September 2006

A couple were held at gunpoint at their home in Coventry by masked thieves who stole their car and an undisclosed sum of cash.

BBC, 5 September 2006

Two men armed with what are believed to be firearms attempted to rob a security van in Gosforth, Newcastle.  There were reports that two shots were fired at a building.

Richmond & Twickenham Times, 4 September 2006

Vandals armed with airguns have been shooting at cars and breaking their windows in Mortlake.  Two drivers reported being hit.

ic Coventry, 4 September 2006

A man was forced to stop his car and hand over cash by armed robbers on a scooter.  The incident occurred in Longford.

Huddersfield Daily Examiner, 4 September 2006

A masked raider pointed a silver handgun at two staff members at a takeaway in Marsh and threatened to kill him.  The raider grabbed a handful of cash, fired the gun at the floor and fled.  Police discovered that the weapon was a blank-firing gun.

Observer, 3 September 2006

In an article which describes how many firearms offences are committed by teenagers furious over a perceived lack of 'respect' the reporter describes an attack on a pedestrian in Hackney, east London, which left the victim with a gunshot wound in the leg.  The gunmen went off on a motorbike.

Wimbledon Guardian, 1 September 2006

Four men, aged between 18 and 20, have been convicted of firearm and robbery offences carried out in the Sutton area in October 2005 (see Incidents).  Sheldon Green, Jonathan Tetteh, Andrew Farge and Thomas Gumble pleaded guilty to a variety of offences.  Tetteh had threatened a girl with a handgun and two evenings later three of the men threatened two teens with a handgun and a knife and stole a moped.  Later they robbed a man of a mobile phone and gold chain.  Police found a number of videotapes showing the four men with weapons.  On one Green is heard threatening that he would blow a man's brain out while brandishing a Smith and Wesson revolver.  Police are still searching for some of the weapons shown on the gang's video.

Wimbledon Guardian, 1 September 2006

A petrol station cashier in Tattenham Corner was taken to hospital after being pistol whipped around the head in an armed robbery.  The robbery may be linked to a one at an off licence in Ashtead (see August 2006 Incidents).

This is Bradford, 1 September 2006

A road in Bradford city centre was closed after police received reports of a gun being fired.  Nobody was injured.

Lancashire Evening Post, 1 September 2006

A man says he suffered a mysterious gunshot wound at a friend's birthday party in Ingol, Preston.  Police are not looking for anyone else in connection with incident despite the man's claim that he was shot by an unknown gunman in an alleyway.  The police say there was no evidence to support his claim.

BBC, 1 September 2006

Armed robbers raided a jewellers in the centre of Chester.  The three men, one of whom was armed with what appeared to be a handgun stole watches and made their getaway in a car that was later found burned out.

BBC, 1 September 2006

Two men have been arrested when their car was stopped in the Stapleton area of Bristol.  The were arrested on suspicion of possessing firearms with intent to endanger life.

BBC, 1 September 2006

Police found a sub-machine gun, ammunition and a quantity of drugs at a flat in Liverpool city centre.  A man has been arrested.

Asian Times, 1 September 2006

A man stole a car at gunpoint from a woman who had been shopping in Rochdale.  Days later the same car with false number plates was seen at a service station in Ashton but was found abandoned a few hours afterwards.

Wembley & Kingsbury Times, 31 August 2006

Marius Leroux has been jailed for 14 years after admitting four counts of intention to supply drugs and illegal possession of a firearm.  The drugs and firearm were found by detectives when his home and a storage facility in Ladbroke Grove were raided.

Life Style Extra, 31 August 2006

An armed robber escaped with thousands of pounds in cash after holding up three betting shops in 40 minutes in a short stretch between Willesden Junction and Stonebridge Park railway stations in north London.  The robber was armed with a handgun.  It is reported that the same man also robbed another bookmakers in Acton (Willesden & Brent Times, 31 August 2006).

ic South London, 31 August 2006

A jogger was left bleeding and bruised after he was shot with an air rifle whilst running through Crystal Palace.  A car slowed down beside him, a gun came out of the back window and the next thing he knew he was thrown to the ground.  He received eight wounds to his legs.

ic Berkshire, 31 August 2006

Shazad Ahmed pulled an airgun twice on a boy in Tilehurst before dumping the gun under a bush following a police chase.  The Gamo PY Model 80 .177 calibre air pistol had five pellets in its magazine.  He was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment for one count of possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.

BBC, 31 August 2006 *

A gang of three men terrorised pensioners during an armed raid on a church social club in Childwall, Liverpool.  An elderly woman was grabbed as they arrived.  They made off with £1000 after firing two gunshots and punching the manageress in the face.

BBC, 31 August 2006

A woman was shot with an air weapon during what police described as a domestic incident in Morpeth.  A man was arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm.

BBC, 31 August 2006

Three guns and ammunition have been stolen during a burglary at a cottage in Whitfield Village, Hexham.  The police did not have any details on the make of firearms.  The owner's car was also stolen and abandoned later.

BBC, 31 August 2006 *

A seven-year-old boy was shot with an airgun as he was cycling in the Canford Heath area of Poole.  He was taken to hospital with a pellet embedded in his thigh.  He is now too scared to go outside and play.  A 20-year-old has pleaded guilty to charges of unlawful wounding and possession of a firearm (see December 2006 Incidents).

Sheffield Today, 30 August 2006

A man was shot in the leg by a gunman on a motorbike as he sat in his car near his home in Parsons Cross.  His injuries were said not to be life-threatening.  The car had a large bullet hole in the front passenger door.

Liverpool Echo, 30 August 2006 *

A father has described how he nearly died after being shot in the leg by a teenage gunman earlier in the month in Cremorne Hey, Merseyside.  He had been searching for his older son who had borrowed his mountain bike.  He was shot for standing up to the gunman who was also on a mountain bike.

Ilkeston Today, 30 August 2006

A group of youths shot a man in the chest with an airgun when they turned up on his doorstep in Ilkeston.  The group consisted of four boys and two girls.  The victim's skin was punctured but his injuries were not serious.  Two girls aged 16 and 18 were later arrested.

ic Surrey, 30 August 2006

A man used a black handgun to threaten off-licence staff during a robbery in Ashtead.  He escaped with several hundred pounds.  The robbery may be linked to one at Tattenham Corner (see September 2006 Incidents).

ic Coventry, 30 August 2006 *

Police have issued a safety warning after a woman was injured in a suspected BB gun incident.  She was walking in Alcester when she was hit in the chest by something flying through the air.

BBC, 30 August 2006

A teenager was being treated in hospital for head injuries following a disturbance at a property in Rochester.  An air rifle was recovered by police officers.  Five male teenagers aged between 14 and 19 were arrested.

BBC, 30 August 2006

A shotgun with a defective firing mechanism has been stolen during a break-in at a farm in Nonington, east Kent.  The gun would be dangerous if fired.

South Tyneside Today, 29 August 2006

Police were called to a home in Brockley Whins, South Shields after receiving a call from a man whose daughter had contacted him saying her partner had armed himself with a firearm.  A man was arrested on suspicion of making threats to kill.  Police recovered two air pistols and an air rifle from the property.

Rochdale Observer, 29 August 2006

A 17-year-old girl was shot in the leg with a pellet from an air rifle as she walked along a street in Freehold.  She was subjected to racial abuse by the driver of a car and then felt a sudden pain in her right calf.

The Register, 29 August 2006

A gang set up a fake eBay car auction in Dagenham and then robbed a would-be buyer at gunpoint when he met them.  The victim felt "assured" by the vendor's 92.3 per cent approval rating and agreed to pay for the vehicle in cash.  He was approached by four people one of whom produced a gun and demanded the money.

Liverpool Echo, 29 August 2006 *

Two men were shot by two gunmen as they answered a knock at their front door in Stockbridge Village in Merseyside.  One victim is seriously ill in hospital after being hit in the chest, the other is thought to have been shot in the arm.

ic Coventry, 29 August 2006 *

A raider pointed a revolver-style handgun at a cashier in a bookmakers in Nuneaton and ordered the man to open the safe.  The gunman helped himself to cash and then ran from the store.  The worker has since been sacked for negligence, but says he was following company policy by agreeing to the robber's demands (icCoventry, 25 September 2006).

ic Coventry, 29 August 2006

A landlady was confronted by armed raiders who held up her pub in Woodway Park, Coventry, and snatched around £8000.  Three men were involved, one of whom held a gun above his head.  In another raid in the Coventry area three men, one of whom was carrying what is believed to be a silver handgun, stole the taking from a shop in Holbrooks.  A third raid took place on a shop in Coundon involving three raiders.  One of the men was carrying a handgun and another a shotgun.  They stole a large quantity of cash.

BBC, 29 August 2006

A man was kidnapped by two men and forced at gunpoint to drive around Staffordshire for 10 hours before being dumped at the roadside.  Two men forced their way into his car in Newcastle-under-Lyme and he a later dumped at a lay-by in Clayton.

BBC, 29 August 2006

A man was critically ill in hospital after he was shot outside a pub in Wibsey, Bradford.

BBC, 28 August 2006

Two firearms, a 9 mm pistol and a Taser gun, were stolen from a police armed response vehicle in Stockton.  A man was later arrested and the weapons recovered.  Two police officers have been suspended from firearms duties.

BBC, 28 August 2006

Two female petrol station attendants were locked in an office when they were threatened by two men with what are thought to be handguns.  The men stole about £2000 in cash during the robbery which took place in Longwell Green, South Gloucestershire.

BBC, 28 August 2006

A 15-year-old girl has been charged after police used a stun gun during an incident at a petrol station in Blackburn.

BBC, 27 August 2006

Two men and a woman have been held over an incident in which four people were injured by pellets from airguns.  The victims, all in their mid teens were slightly injured in Meir, Stoke-on-Trent.

BBC, 26 August 2006 *

A man was being questioned by police investigating the fatal shooting of a man in Wythenshawe, Greater Manchester.  The victim was taken to hospital with bullet wounds but died later.  A man has been found guilty of murder and has been sentenced to life in jail (see June 2009 Incidents)

BBC, 26 August 2006

A man needed medical treatment to remove an airgun pellet from his cheek after he was shot whilst walking home in Marlborough.  A pellet struck him in the face and embedded itself so deeply that surgeons had to remove it from the inside of his cheek through his mouth (This is Wiltshire, 31 August 2006).

ic South London, 25 August 2006

Three thugs pistol-whipped and threatened to shoot a man after ambushing him as he bought a motorbike in Bermondsey.  He had £2000 in savings stolen.  The victim dialled 999 but when the police arrived they poured scorn on his claims.  However, a spokeswoman says they are now following up all possible lines of inquiry.

Cheshunt and Waltham Mercury, 25 August 2006

Armed police officers stopped a car on the border of Cheshunt and Turnford and demanded that two teenagers and one man exited the vehicle.  The officers were tipped off that one of the occupants was brandishing a handgun.  The gun turned out to be a black BB gun.  The three men were arrested and later cautioned for possession of an imitation firearm in a public place.

BBC, 25 August 2006

A man was shot in the back with a BB gun as he was walking in the Somers Town area of Portsmouth.  Although unhurt he said he had seen another man hit in the face.  A driver said his van had been hit.

Whitby Today, 24 August 2006

A seven-year-old was shot in the cheek with a pellet from a BB gun in his friend's back garden in Whitby.  The two boys were firing pellets at a target attached to a fence at the time of the incident.  Earlier in the week a toddler had been hit in the neck when a teenager fired a BB gun into a crowd of children in the town.

This is Essex, 24 August 2006

Two women were held at gunpoint during a robbery at a shop in Benfleet.  Two men threatened the women with a long-barrelled gun.  A purse was stolen.

Shropshire Star, 24 August 2006

A woman member of a bowls club in Telford was hit on the arm by an airgun pellet.  The sniper fired several shots from woods.

Press Association, 24 August 2006 *

A gunman shot dead a teenager who was leaving a prison in Fazakerley, Merseyside, after visiting a friend.  The victim was shot in the head.  Two men have been arrested (BBC, 25 August 2006).  Three youths have been convicted of murder (see August 2007 Incidents).

North-West Evening Mail, 24 August 2006

A man leapt from a van and fired a rifle over the heads of clubbers returning from a night out in Barrow.  The incident followed an earlier altercation.  A man was arrested at the scene and a bolt action .22 rifle was seized.

BBC, 24 August 2006

Three teenagers have been arrested in connection with an incident in Stamford.  CCTV operators contacted police after seeing three men with what they thought was a rifle.  The three were in possession of a BB gun.

BBC, 24 August 2006

A 10-year-old boy was taken to hospital after being shot with a replica gun in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent.  The victim suffered minor eye injuries.  A 12-year-old boy has been questioned.

Welwyn & Hatfield Times, 23 August 2006

A man was at his home with four friends in Welham Green when a gunman and two others broke into his flat.  The robbers pointed a pistol at the head of one of his friends and demanded cash.  They took jewellery, cash and mobile phones before pistol-whipping the friend and then took cash, computer equipment and a dog from the flat's owner. 

National Newspapers, 23 August 2006 *

A man was shot dead on his doorstep in Canning Town, east London, in front of his three-year-old son.  A gang of youths was involved and a 14-year-old boy was arrested and released on bail.  One local  report indicated that the police had told the family they believed he was shot with a powerful airgun (Newham Recorder, 23 August 2006).  An 18-year-old has been charged with murder and possession of a firearm, an 8 mm handgun, with intent to endanger life.  Another 17-year-old youth is also charged with murder (BBC, 2 October 2006).  The 18-year-old has been found guilty of murder, but the 17-year-old was cleared (see March 2007 Incidents).

Nantwich Chronicle, 23 August 2006

A robber fled empty-handed from a raid on a post office in Cuddington.  The man, who was armed with a 'rifle-type' gun, threatened staff and customers and demanded money.  He left when the staff sounded the alarm.

BBC, 23 August 2006

Paintballing equipment was stolen from a club in Lydd, Kent.  Police have warned that the equipment (paintball pistols and rifles, gas bottles, protective clothing and ammunition pouches) could cause serious injury.

BBC, 23 August 2006

Airgun pellets were fired at passers-by from a bridge in Bristol.

BBC, 23 August 2006

A security guard was robbed at gunpoint while trying to fill at cash machine at a supermarket in Wakefield.  A masked man threatened the woman with a silver handgun.

BBC, 22 August 2006

A man was taken to hospital after being shot in the an alley in the Moss Side area of Manchester.  He is believed to have been deliberately targeted.  His injuries are not deemed to be life-threatening.

BBC, 22 August 2006 *

Police officers were called to the promenade in Newbiggin-by-the-Sea after reports of an air weapon being fired.  They found an air rifle hidden in undergrowth.  Three men, aged 19, 20 and 21, have been arrested on suspicion of firearms offences.  Two have now been charged with possession of a firearm or imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence (Evening Chronicle, 10 October 2006).

BBC, 22 August 2006

During a robbery at a hotel room in St Columb Minor, Newquay, armed men used a handgun to threaten a man and woman.  One man was arrested and released without charge but another man remained in custody.

BBC, 22 August 2006 *

Twelve-year-old boy Mitchel Picken has died after being shot in the eye with an airgun pellet in Stoke-on-Trent.  He was rushed to hospital where he died of a penetration wound.  Two 12-year-old boys were arrested at the scene and have been released on police bail.  A police spokesman said the his death "would appear to serve as a terrible reminder of the dangers of children having access to air weapons".  A man has been arrested and bailed on suspicion of making a gift of an airgun to an under-14-year-old and allowing him to use it unsupervised (Sun, 16 September 2006).  A 13-year-old has appeared in court charged with manslaughter (BBC, 27 September 2006) but was cleared by the jury (see February 2007 Incidents).

Leeds Today, 21 August 2006

Two men were in hospital after an incident involving a gun in a suburb of Leeds.  Police were alerted by members of the public who reported a disturbance involving a group of men armed with weapons, including a firearm.  A gun, believed to be a handgun, was later recovered. 

Isle of Wight County Press, 21 August 2006

A man and two youths were arrested after reports of guns being brandished and pointed at pedestrians in Shanklin.  A 13-year-old boy was slightly injured when he was shot with a BB gun.  Four air weapons were recovered by police in a house where the trio were arrested.  One man was given a fixed-penalty notice for using threatening words or behaviour and a youth was reprimanded for common assault.  The other youth was released with no punishment.

BBC, 21 August 2006

Wayne Curtis fired a shotgun at his former partner's mother in Gunnislake in January 2006.  He has been told that he must serve at least four years in prison.  He claimed he had the gun because he had received threats.

BBC, 21 August 2006

A man was shot with a stun gun as he was walking in a shopping centre in Bath.  Several teenagers had previously shouted abuse at him and as he confronted one of them he was shot by another member of the group.  He was shot a second time after he'd fallen.  Two boys, aged 15 and 13, were arrested (BBC, 25 August 2006).

BBC, 21 August 2006

A substantial amount of cash was stolen during a robbery at a bank in Stanley, County Durham.  Two men, one thought to have been armed with a firearm, entered the bank and demanded cash.

BBC, 21 August 2006

Staff at a betting shop in Kenton, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, were threatened with a handgun and knife when two men stole several hundreds of pounds.  Two men have been arrested in connection with the incident.

Sheffield Today, 19 August 2006

Mark John Hammond, 19, shot a man in the face at point blank range after a row in Sheffield in January 2006.  He has been jailed indefinitely (minimum five and a half years) and branded a danger to the public.  The victim, who had stepped in to broker peace, underwent a three hour operation to remove a fragment of bullet from his brain.  He has been left with metal plates in his head and a huge scar.

BBC, 19 August 2006

A man armed with a gun threatened staff at a travel agents in Forest Hall (North Tyneside).  He left with a quantity of cash.

BBC, 19 August 2006

Two men threatened staff at a DIY store in Stoke-on-Trent with what appeared to be a firearm.  It is thought that a shot was fired.  The men stole money and gift vouchers and escaped in a stolen car, later found abandoned.

AOL, 19 August 2006 *

A man was shot outside a school in Rugeley during an incident involving armed police officers.  The shot man is seriously ill in hospital but his injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.  An inquiry has been launched by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.  Armed officers had been called after reports that a man was wielding a gun and making threats to kill.  A man has been jailed for six years after being charged with assault, two counts of threatening to kill, affray and possession of an imitation firearm (see February 2007 Incidents).

BBC, 18 August 2006

Cumbria police have said that although no guns appear to have been used in disputes between rival drugs factions in North Cumbria they have recovered a CS gas canister and an imitation firearm.

This is Lancashire, 17 August 2006

Edward Munro walked into a hospital in Leigh and pointed a gun at staff in October 2005.  Because he was drunk he had been asked to come back when he was sober, but he reached into a bag and produced a ball-bearing gun and pointed it at the team manager's head.  Staff managed to usher him out but he was found later by two policeman.  The gun, designed to look like a semi-automatic pistol, was in the waistband of his trousers. Munro claimed he had bought it for 50p at a car boot sale and had intended to give it to his grandchildren.  He pleaded guilty to possessing the gun with intent to cause fear and violence and was jailed for 21 months.

Press Association, 17 August 2006

Rohan Chung was given three life sentences with a minimum term of 40 years for killing three members of the same family in Harlesden, north London. in August 2005 (see Incidents).  A stepfather and two sisters were executed in their home.  The victims had been shot in the head, and the eight-month-old son of one of the women was found crawling near the bodies 14 hours later.  A second defendant, Michael Letts, was also given three life sentences for the murders and will serve a minimum of 20 years.  The prosecution said the family was killed because the women's brother had double-crossed Chung in a drugs deal (Reuters, 17 August 2006).

BBC, 17 August 2006

Stephen Groom could be jailed after he was found guilty of brandishing a handgun at a motorist following an argument in Ipswich in May 2006.  Groom had denied possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.  The court heard how Groom had pulled up behind a people carrier and proceeded to "tailgate" before pulling up beside it at a junction when the argument occurred.  Sentencing will take place in September.

BBC, 17 August 2006

Two men were hurt in a drive-by shooting in Bolton when three cars drove past them and shots were fired.  The men were hit in the arm, leg and stomach but their injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.  The attack was reported to be the latest in a feud between rival gangs (This is Lancashire, 18 August 2006).

This is Lancashire, 16 August 2006

A clubber was arrested on suspicion of possessing an imitation handgun after police called at a club in Blackburn.

This is Bradford, 16 August 2006

Two men, one of whom was brandishing a firearm, robbed a woman of her car as she was filling it with fuel on a garage forecourt in Odsal.  The men threatened the woman and forced her to hand over her car keys, leaped into the car and drove off.

Sheffield Today, 16 August 2006

A man needed treatment in hospital after an air rifle pellet became lodged in his face.  He was crossing waste ground in Parsons Cross when the shooting happened.

Muswell Hill Journal, 16 August 2006

A group of teenagers was threatened by two men in Fortis Green who approached them asking if they wanted to buy drugs and then told them to hand over their property or be shot.

Manchester Online, 16 August 2006

Teenagers on bikes fought a gun battle with youths in a car in Moss Side.  Police sent armed officers onto the streets after three shootings in 24 hours.

Leyland Today, 16 August 2006

A ball-bearing or airgun pierced a 1cm hole through the glass of a front room window in Leyland.  A mother and her young son could have been seriously injured as they'd been sitting on the sofa by the window seconds earlier.

ic Sefton & West Lancs, 16 August 2006

Michael Stockton shot dead his neighbour after blaming her for a fire which killed more than 50 of his pigeons.  He was found guilty of manslaughter by reason of provocation.  He had killed his neighbour at point blank range after shooting his way into her home in Audley, north Staffordshire, in December 2005 (see Incidents).  Stockton, who owned a number of legally-held firearms, used a shotgun to kill his victim.  Staffordshire Police said "There was no evidence to indicate that Mr Stockton was anything but a responsible person who was suitable to possess guns" (The Sentinel, 17 August 2006).

Herts24, 16 August 2006

A 14-year-old boy dressed as a cowboy and playing with a gun in a Brookmans Park street sparked a massive police operation after emergency calls reported a man brandishing an automatic weapon and a handgun.  A ball-bearing gun was found at the boy's address.  He was released by police after being given a reprimand.

Express & Star, 16 August 2006

Vandals have been firing ball-bearings at parked cars in towns across the Wyre Forest district.  Incidents in which car windows have been smashed have occurred in Kidderminster, Stourport-on-Severn and Bewdley.  Police have warned that ball-bearing guns could cause injuries.

This is Wiltshire, 14 August 2006

Another police force, Hampshire Constabulary, has issued a warning that youngsters carrying imitation firearms are running the risk of being shot dead.  In the last week a police community support officer was shot at with a BB gun and two teenage boys had BB guns confiscated from them.  The guns bore a startling resemblance to real weapons.

Sunderland Echo, 15 August 2006

Shoppers watched in horror as robbers staged a gunpoint raid outside a supermarket in Sunderland.  They struck as a security van was delivering cash but got away empty-handed after a security dye bomb inside the cash box went off.  The raiders will have been marked with the red dye.

ic Newcastle, 14 August 2006

A toddler was left with minor injuries after gunmen opened fire and hit a truck in which the child was playing.  The incident occurred in Miles Platting, Greater Manchester.  Two men fired two or three shots towards a house but missed and hit the truck.  It is believed a handgun was used.

Life Style Extra, 13 August 2006 *

A gunman is being hunted after a teenager was shot dead inside a nightclub in King's Cross in London.  The victim was rushed to hospital but died shortly after arrival.  No other people were injured.  Sean Samuels has been found guilty of murder and jailed for life (BBC, 12 July 2007)

BBC, 13 August 2006

A road in Handsworth, Birmingham, was closed after reports of gunshots being fired.  One resident reported hearing four shots.

ic South London, 11 August 2006

Gracey Blackwood flew into a rage when she thought a friend and neighbour in Brixton had reported her to social services.  She grabbed a ball-bearing pistol and held the gun to the face of her friend who was scared and fearful that the gun was a real one.  She has been given a 200-hour community punishment order.

Henley Standard, 11 August 2006 *

A company director was held under siege at his Henley-on-Thames showroom after a hail of shots from air rifles caused £5000 damage in the space of 15 minutes.  He was alone at the showroom at the time of the incident.

Dorset Echo, 11 August 2006

Police are hunting those responsible for an airgun attack at a house in the Northbourne area of Bournemouth.  A family were asleep when shot were fired at their home.  The glass in an upstairs window was chipped, another pellet left a hole in a panel surrounding their lounge window and their patio doors were shattered.

Review & Observer, 10 August 2006

A van driver was threatened by a man with a handgun as he drove through a caravan park in Park Street (Hertfordshire).  The driver did not stop and knocked the offender to the ground.  Police scoured the area looking for the gunman.

Lancashire Evening Post, 10 August 2006

Clark Townsend aimed a "realistic looking" handgun at the face of a shop assistant in Lancaster in March 2006.  But he panicked at left empty handed.  He had been taking steroids and later said the robbery attempt gave him "the best buzz ever".  He pleaded guilty to charges of attempted robbery and possession of an imitation firearm with intent to commit the offence.  He was jailed and will only become eligible to be assessed by the parole board after he has served three-and-a-half years.

Sunderland Echo, 9 August 2006

Armed police swooped on a Sunderland housing estate after receiving reports of a man waving a gun.  A woman and a 14-year-old boy were arrested.  It appears that an airgun was involved.

Hold the Front Page, 9 August 2006

Two reporters from the Nottingham Evening Post have described their terror as they were held up at gunpoint in a taxi after a night out.  Three men forced the vehicle to stop before one of them pulled open the passenger door and pointed a gun into the back of the cab.  The taxi driver sped off.

Eastbourne Today, 9 August 2006

Golfers at an Eastbourne golf club were shocked to see a man with a history of convictions for offensive weapons sitting on a monument at the back of a green holding an air rifle.  Wayne Harcourt told police he'd gone there for target practice and to shoot rabbits.  He was given an 18-month conditional discharge by magistrates.

East Anglian Daily Times, 9 August 2006

A young woman was tied up after being held up at gunpoint and forced to empty a safe at a motel in Feering, Essex.  He threatened her with a black handgun.  She handed over between £100 and £150.  The robbery was one of three in Essex and Kent which the police believe may be linked.  The others occurred at Canterbury and Wickford.

Harrow Times, 8 August 2006

A man and a woman were gunned down outside a pub in North Wembley.  They had just pulled up in a car when a car stopped next to them and shots were fired.  Both victims are in a serious condition.

Daily Post, 8 August 2006

A man was shot in the stomach in what is believed to have been a targeted attack in Huyton.  His injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.  The gunman escaped by car (Liverpool Echo, 10 August 2006).  It was later revealed that the victim was cradling a baby girl at the time and managed to get her out of harm's way seconds before he was hit (Daily Post, 23 August 2006).

Daily Post, 8 August 2006

Two injured teenagers may have accidentally shot themselves while playing with a small gun that resembles a pen.  The boys suffered wounds to their hands while near playing fields in Norris Green.

BBC, 8 August 2006

A gang of six men burst into a chip shop in Rusholme, Manchester, and fired a gun at staff.  The gang left when they realised there were customers in the shop.

Argus (Brighton), 8 August 2006

A teenager shot a boy with a ball-bearing gun as he played in a park in Hove.  The nine-year-old was hit in the leg.  The boy was staying with relatives for the first week of the summer holiday when the attack happened.

Portsmouth Today, 5 August 2006

Hampshire police officers thought they were face to face with a Heckler & Koch G36 machine gun when they stopped a 12-year-old boy.  The toy ball-bearing gun was almost identical to the real thing.  They warned that it could end with an innocent person getting shot if replica weapons weren't stamped out.

News Shopper, 4 August 2006

A worker at Sydenham station is recovering in hospital after being injured during an armed robbery at the station.  Two men, one armed with a gun and the other with a machete, took hold of the victim before making off in a stolen car with a sum of cash

National Newspapers, 4 August 2006

Joel Smith, a self-confessed armed robber, was given a life sentence for the murder of 7-year-old Toni-Ann Byfield and Bertram Byfield, whom she believed was her father.  The double murder took place in Kensal Green in September 2003 (see Incidents).  It was recommended that Smith serve a minimum of 40 years.

Get Reading, 4 August 2006

Bookies have been warned to be on their guard after two betting shops in the Reading area were robbed at gunpoint within 48 hours. The second raid was at a bookmakers in Tilehurst where a robber pointed a handgun at two members of staff.

Weston & Somerset Mercury, 3 August 2006

Five men were arrested at gunpoint after they were caught playing with imitation weapons in Weston-super-Mare.  Armed police officers and a helicopter were called out.  The men were found with a fake semi-automatic rifle and an imitation handgun that could fire ball-bearings.  Four men were given formal cautions for possessing firearms in a public place.

Lancashire Evening Post, 3 August 2006

A binman was injured when he was shot with an airgun whilst collecting rubbish on a Preston estate.  The victim was left with severe bruising on his arm.

ic South London, 3 August 2006

Police are looking for a man who blocked a doorway to a customer of a shop in Mitcham and later threatened him with a gun.

BBC, 3 August 2006

Armed police officers arrested a man and recovered a firearm following an incident in Northampton.  The arrested man was wanted for breaching the terms of his licence after being released from prison.

This is Wiltshire, 2 August 2006

Staff at a jewellers in Swindon were tied up by a gang during an armed robbery.  The men made off with tens of thousands of pounds worth of jewellery, watches and cash.

Northern Echo, 2 August 2006 *

Patrick Collins threatened a love rival with a gun in a pub in Hexham and then accidentally shot himself in the hand.  He was armed with a modified airgun when he met the other man in March 2006 (see Incidents).  Collins pleaded guilty to possessing a prohibited firearm and possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.  He was jailed for five years.  A later report described how a police search of Collins' home in Sandhoe, near Hexham, had revealed 22 containers of black powder, a belt with eight bullets, five airguns, two rifles, a ball bearing gun and shotgun cartridges (Journal, 6 December 2006).

Lancashire Evening Post, 2 August 2006

A man who had taken an overdose of prescription drugs as well as amphetamines waved a toy gun at police officers in Bamber Bridge.  He was in a fit of rage after being denied access to his child by his former partner.  Robert Towers pleaded guilty to a charge of affray and was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for 18 months.  The gun had been bought for his child as a gift.

ic Coventry, 2 August 2006

An armed police response unit went to Toll Bar island on the A45 after a report that two men had been seen with a gun in a field at Binley Woods.  A car was searched and it was discovered that the men had been using an air pistol.  No charges were brought but the gun was confiscated.

Biggleswade Today, 2 August 2006 *

Police are appealing for witnesses to an armed robbery in Henlow in which a postmaster was threatened with a gun and a knife.  The robber grabbed a small amount of cash and fled the scene on a bicycle.  A man has been jailed for four years after pleaded guilty to robbery and possessing an imitation firearm with intent (see June 2007 Incidents).

Rugby Today, 2 August 2006

Armed police were called to Brownsover after a drive-by shooting in which two men fired numerous airgun pellets at a house, smashing an upstairs and downstairs window.  No one was injured.

ic South London, 1 August 2006

Two teenagers were injured in separate shootings at an annual street festival in Battersea.  An 18-year-old, who was involved in an argument, was shot when he later confronted the same person.  Surgeons were to remove a bullet lodged in the front of his skull.  A 14-year-old was hit in the chest after being chased by a group of young men.

Norwich Evening News, 1 August 2006

A gang armed with an air rifle terrorised families on an estate in Norwich.  Two shots were fired, although nobody was hit by the pellets one man was taken to hospital after being punched by the gang.

BBC, 1 August 2006

Two teenagers were injured in an airgun shooting in Liverpool.  Both were treated for wounds to their hands.  Police say it was a "targeted" attack.

BBC, 1 August 2006

Two armed robbers wearing motorcycle helmets walked into the home of a couple in Broadway, Farcet, Cambridgeshire, threatened them with a gun before making off with cash.  One of the men was holding what was thought to be a handgun.

Hertfordshire on Sunday, 30 July 2006

During the latest in a string of attacks in Hertfordshire the same armed robber went into a bookmakers in Hemel Hempstead and waved a handgun at the assistant manager (see also March 2006 Incidents).

Manchester Evening News, 29 July 2006

A man is believed to have shot his wife in the back of the head outside her home in Droylsden and then shot himself dead.  His wife survived the attack with a bullet embedded in her head and is being treated in hospital where her condition is described as "serious".  Earlier this year the dead man had been given a suspended prison sentence for an assault on his wife.

BBC, 29 July 2006

Four men were arrested after police searched five properties in Milton Keynes.  Drugs, stolen property and a stun gun were seized.

BBC, 29 July 2006

A man was seriously injured in a shooting in Thrybergh, Rotherham.  He suffered wounds to his face and shoulder.  There is no known motive for the attack.  One man has been arrested and released on bail.

Yorkshire Post, 28 July 2006

Adam Briggs was jailed for nine years following a friend's shooting of a 16-year-old girl in a field at Woodsetts, near Rotherham in December 2005 (see Incidents).  Lee Smith, whose relationship with the girl had recently ended, had then turned the weapon on himself.  Briggs was convicted of manslaughter for assisting Smith.  He was also convicted of shortening the barrel of the shotgun used to kill the victim.

Huddersfield Daily Examiner, 28 July 2006

A gunman shot out a window of a train in the Thornton Lodge area of Huddersfield.  British Transport Police confirmed that an airgun had been used in the attack.

BBC, 28 July 2006

Long jail sentences were given to four men involved in smuggling an armoury of illegal weapons from Lithuania into the UK.  Marius Renke, Anton Valsnoras, Dawson Wray and James Parker were jailed for 18, 14, 13 and 11 years six months, respectively.  The court heard that they smuggled 30 pistols, 30 silencers and 1,220 rounds of live ammunition hidden in a secret compartment welded beneath the seats of a car.  They were arrested as they put the guns into a garage in Trafford, Greater Manchester.  Another man, Richard Saltmarsh, was found guilty on similar charges and sentenced to 20 years in prison earlier in the month.

BBC, 28 July 2006

A woman and two men have been arrested in connection with a shooting in a flat in Hastings.  A man was injured when two shots were fired.

BBC, 28 July 2006

A 15-year-old boy was treated in hospital after shooting himself in the eye while playing with an air rifle at a house in Wickford, Essex.  It is not known whether the boy will suffer any permanent damage.

This is Nottingham, 27 July 2006

Cleef Metcalfe and a 17-year-old who cannot be named have been jailed for a series of shop raids.  In one in March 2006 they threatened a pregnant shopkeeper in Old Basford with a knife and a gun.  They also admitted two raids in Arnold.  Metcalfe was given an indeterminate sentence and the teenager was sentenced to three years in a young offenders' institution.  One robbery involved a third man who has not been found.

News & Star, 27 July 2006

A woman suffered a slight back injury after she was hit by what is believed to have been an airgun pellet as she crossed a car park in Carlisle.

BBC, 27 July 2006

Andrew Meekey and Guner Salih have been found guilty of the sale or transfer of prohibited weapons, and of possession of firearms with intent to cause fear of violence, and Paul Meekey has been found guilty of possession of a prohibited weapon and ammunition after a trial that revealed a huge gun conversion racket.  Salih bought hundreds of replica guns, blank-firing pistols and airguns legitimately, converted them into lethal weapons and then sold them to criminals.  He also supplied dum-dum bullets.  A shop in Bethnal Green Road, east London, was a front for the operation where several guns capable of firing live ammunition were found.  Some of the guns were given to Stephen Herbert and Gary Beard who converted them in a makeshift factory in Sydenham: They had pleaded guilty to various charges in 2004 (see Incidents) and are currently serving jail sentences.  A large scale factory at the Meekey's home in Leytonstone changed replica Walther PPK handguns into deadly weapons.  Salih was sentenced to 22 years, Andrew Meekey to 15 years and Paul Meekey to seven years.  The Meekeys’ neighbours, some of whom have known them for up to 30 years, described them as “good as gold”.  They were aware that Paul Meekey collected guns which he said he saw as an investment for the future (East London and West Essex Guardian, 3 August 2006).

BBC, 27 July 2006 *

A building society customer had a gun held to his head during a raid in Stalham, Norfolk.  The robber got away with an undisclosed amount of cash.  Julian Amis, who was carrying an imitation gun, has been jailed for nine years.  The manager of the branch was praised for her bravery in taking a photograph which helped lead to Amis's capture (Eastern Daily Press, 1 September 2006).

BBC, 27 July 2006

A man needed treatment for eye injuries after he was shot with a BB gun at point-blank range by another man in Plymouth.  A man was being questioned.  Police seized two air pistols, an air rifle and a knife following the incident.

BBC, 27 July 2006

An inquest has ruled that Craig King was lawfully killed by police after he had aimed his rifle at officers when they were called to his sister's home in Ashton-under-Lyne in September 2005 (see Incidents)  King had fired at a house with a family and two police officers inside.  The incident was the first fatal shooting by police in Greater Manchester.

BBC, 27 July 2006

A 15-year-old boy who killed his friend with his father's new air rifle at his home in Conisborough in May 2005 (see Incidents)  has been discharged after a jury failed to reach a verdict.  The boy denied manslaughter by gross negligence.  The parents of the dead boy have voiced their anger that no one will be held responsible for his death (Sheffield Today, 29 July 2006).

Swindon Advertiser, 26 July 2006

Mike Redpath, who terrorised his neighbours for months with drunken abuse, has been evicted from his flat in Wanborough.  One neighbour reported that he had aimed an airgun at people from his window.

Daily Post, 26 July 2006 *

A man was fatally shot at a showroom in Aintree, Liverpool.  Another man received injuries to his back and hand when gunmen opened fire at the windows of the office.  A £10,000 reward has been offered to help find the killers (BBC, 24 July 2007).  In a separate incident a man was fighting for his life after being shot outside a pub in Garston

BBC, 26 July 2006

Police have described an incident in Weston Park, Sheffield, as possibly homophobic.  Two men were injured when they were shot at with an airgun.  A police officer who arrived to talk to the men was narrowly missed by a pellet.  Police want to speak to a woman and two men who were seen walking together at the entrance of the park: one of the men had a brown air rifle case over his shoulder.

BBC, 26 July 2006

Armed police were called to the centre of Newcastle after reports of a group of men carrying guns.  Two men were arrested on suspicion of carrying imitation firearms.

BBC, 26 July 2006

Bullets were fired into three cars parked outside a home in Little Aston, Sutton Coldfield.  A family have been moved to a same house since the incident.

BBC, 26 July 2006

A man was in a serious condition in hospital after he was shot in the back and leg in the Whitmore Reans area of Wolverhampton.

Whitehaven News, 25 July 2006

A grandmother had a lucky escape after being shot in the face with an airgun while she sat out in her garden in Monkwray Brow.  She suddenly felt a stabbing pain just behind her ear and realised she had been shot by someone hiding in the grassy area behind her home.

ic Coventry, 25 July 2006

A man was shot in the leg outside a nightclub in Foleshill.  He was reportedly attached by three or four other men.  He has been released from hospital following treatment.

Citizen (Burnley), 25 July 2006

A group of youths threatened a 12-year-old boy with a gun as he walked in a street in Nelson.  They pulled a gun as they demanded his PlayStation.

BBC, 25 July 2006

Two teenage boys, who shot at children in a school playground in Rotherham in December 2005 (see Incidents), have been found guilty of using an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear.  Both were sentenced to supervision (for 18-months and 12-months) and curfew orders.

BBC, 25 July 2006

A 17-year-old was arrested for possessing an imitation firearm after shooting at two men from a car using a BB gun in Fleet, Hampshire.

ic Coventry, 24 July 2006 *

Earl Bailey of Bell Green, Coventry and another unnamed man were found guilty of conspiracy to possess an explosive substance and conspiracy to possess prohibited weapons and ammunition.  They had been attempting to smuggle an arsenal of firearms and explosives into the UK.  The weapons were found in a hidden panel in a lorry at Felixstowe Port.  The haul included 10 handguns, three machine guns and more than 1000 bullets.  Both men were jailed for 12 years.

Daily Post, 24 July 2006

David French, who was brought in to threaten a Liverpool man by Iftikhar Mehmood, was arrested at Heathrow Airport in September 2005 and found to have an air pistol in the boot of his car.  French pleaded guilty to possession of the gun plus ammunition and was jailed for eight years. Mehmood was jailed for three and a half years. 

Life Style Extra, 23 July 2006

A woman, who was with a group of friends in Kennington, was shot by a man who got out of a car and fired several shots.  She was allowed home from hospital after treatment.

Life Style Extra, 23 July 2006

A man was shot in Forest Gate.  He was taken to hospital where his condition was described as "stable".

Wiltshire Times, 21 July 2006 *

Four people have been arrested following a disturbance in Bradford on Avon and a report of a man carrying a loaded air weapon.  It is thought that up to four shots were fired.  The incident is believed to be linked to a long running neighbourhood feud.

ic South London, 21 July 2006 *

Police discovered an arsenal of firearms in the boot of a car parked in Peckham.  They included a Mac 10 machine pistol capable of firing 1000 rounds a minute, three automatic pistols, silencers, 150 rounds of ammunition.  Police also found a quantity of drugs.  A man has been found guilty of eight charges including possessing firearms and ammunition (see September 2007 Incidents).

Hartlepool Today, 21 July 2006

Armed police used a Taser gun to stun a man after he allegedly took a girl hostage at knifepoint in Station Town.

Cambs Times, 21 July 2006

A hotel owner from March has appeared in court facing two firearms charges.  The charges follow an alleged incident in April 2006 when police officers raided the hotel and arrested the man.  He is accused of possessing an air rifle without a firearms certificate and a slug cartridge without a certificate.

BBC, 21 July 2006

A 15-year-old youth has been given a police caution after a man was shot at in his car in the Robinswood area of Gloucester.  Officers were called to a house where they arrested the youth and confiscated an air rifle.

Observer News, 20 July 2006

An armed robber held staff at gun point in a raid at a petrol station in Bishop's Stortford.  The man threatened an employee with a handgun and forced him to hand over money from the till.  No shots were fired.

Croydon Guardian, 20 July 2006

A taxi driver was attacked at gunpoint in Coulsdon.  His passenger reached forward and brought his arm around the driver's neck and placed a small air pistol to his neck and demanded money.  In the resulting struggle the driver was punched several times but managed to grab the gun from his assailant.

Guardian, 18 July 2006 *

A man was shot dead in front of his two young children as he took them to school in Wembley, north London.  He was shot by a gunman who emerged from one of two cars that pulled up in the street nearby.  A 19-year-old has been found guilty of being one of the shooting party (see August 2007 Incidents).

BBC, 18 July 2006

Anthony Rimmington, a film set designer, admitted possessing three prohibited pistols and ammunition.  He had been allowed to keep the guns as souvenirs after filming.  He was sentenced to six months, suspended for two years.  The guns were found at his flat in Ealing.  He was told by the judge that as a prominent member of a gun club he knew the weapons were illegal.

Wigan Today, 17 July 2006

Detectives hunting a gunman who fired shots at a property in Worsley Mesnes found that cannabis was being cultivated inside.  The gunman had fled by the time officers arrived.

Eastern Daily Press, 17 July 2006

Following a double shooting in King's Lynn police carried out searches at two properties.  The victims of the shooting, a man and a woman, suffered minor injuries when three armed intruders burst into a house and opened fire.  Two other people in the house escaped injury.

Doncaster Today, 17 July 2006 *

Scott Dowse, 17, was given a 16-month sentence in a detention centre for causing grievous bodily harm with a random shot from his air rifle while target shooting in Homes Carr Great Wood in September 2005 (see Doncaster Today, 1 November 2005).  A pellet from the weapon hit a 16-year-old in the back as he rode his motorbike and cut his spinal cord.  The victim is paralysed and has been left unable to breathe unaided.  He says that he will have to suffer a life sentence whilst Dowse will be out within months. 

Sunday Mirror, 16 July 2006

A man who was shot in a car park in Bermondsey died in his mother's arms as armed police waited 35 minutes to help.   Three men have been arrested over the shooting.

BBC, 16 July 2006

A man has been arrested for possession of a firearm in connection with a suspected shooting in Coventry.  Detectives are keen to trace two other men who were seen leaving the street in a car.

BBC, 15 July 2006

A police officer, part of an armed response unit, was shot with an airgun after a man barricaded himself  into a house in Clifton, Nottingham.  The injury was described as very minor.  Police recovered an air pistol and an air rifle at the scene.  A man was held under the Mental Health Act.

Hackney Gazette, 14 July 2006

A masked gunman shot and injured a man who was sitting outside a pub in Hackney.  The victim was injured in the chest. He was taken to hospital for treatment and has been discharged.  The attack happened after an argument broke out.

BBC, 14 July 2006 *

A man was shot dead in a car on an industrial estate in Bootle, Merseyside.  Passers-by heard shots and found the man.  Nine men have been arrested by police investigating the murder (Teletext, 9 December 2009).  A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder (BBC, 17 February 2010).

Huddersfield Daily Examiner, 13 July 2006

A man fired three shots outside a pub in Huddersfield.  Six men were sitting in a yard behind the pub at the time but no-one was hurt.  The man who fired the weapon, believed to be a handgun, ran off and a car then drove away.

Eastbourne Today, 13 July 2006

A 13-year-old boy has been arrested after a woman was hit in the arm with a pellet from a BB gun whilst walking along the seafront at Eastbourne.  She felt a pain in her elbow and discovered she had been hit with a paintball pellet.  The teenager admitted causing the injury and received an official police reprimand.

Dearne Today, 13 July 2006

Pensioners on an estate in Denaby are living in fear after an airgun was used to shot holes through the windows of their OAP centre.  Eleven double glazed windows were peppered with pellet holes.

BBC, 13 July 2006

A man, who was arrested at Manchester Airport, has appeared in court accused of bringing knives, knuckledusters and a stun gun into the UK.

BBC, 13 July 2006

Two raiders stole cash from a security van making a delivery to cash machines in Greenhithe, Kent.  The two guards were threatened with guns before the robbers ran off with an amount of cash.

Tameside Advertiser, 12 July 2006

Four teenagers were arrested after playing with ball bearing guns in a street in Dukinfield.  The incident sparked a massive police alert after a young male was seen with what appeared to be a black handgun.  Two BB guns were seized.

Macclesfield Express, 12 July 2006

A cache of 38 rifles was stolen in a raid from the back of a wagon parked in Macclesfield as its driver sat in the cab.  Police think that the gang may have been opportunists.  The weapons are airguns but fire bullets rather than pellets and could be modified into more powerful weapons.  Three robbers were disturbed by the lorry driver.  The guns taken were 20 .22 calibre ZKM 452 Varmints and 18 Ceska Zbrojovka .177 calibre rifles.

ic Coventry, 12 July 2006

A man threatened staff of an off licence in Cheylesmore with a replica handgun and stole cash and alcohol worth £175.

BBC, 12 July 2006

A man was arrested after an armed siege at a house in Bath.  He had barricaded himself into the property claiming he was armed with a gun.  He was detained under the mental health act.

ic South London, 11 July 2006

A 13-year-old boy was hit in the face at close range with an airgun in an unprovoked shooting as he and his friends stood in a playground near their homes in Kennington.  He has been blinded in one eye.  A family friend of the alleged gunman attempted to excuse his actions, saying the lad was "letting off steam with a gun".  Two boys, aged 16 and 15, have been arrested and bailed.

Birmingham Mail, 11 July 2006

Oliver Russell Dowding of Shirley was fined £50 for discharging a firearm (air rifle) without lawful authority or excuse.

BBC, 11 July 2006

Twenty-four people have been arrested in a series of raids aimed at tackling drug-related crime in north Manchester.  Among weapons seized was a gas-powered ball-bearing gun.

BBC, 10 July 2006 *

Shots were fired in a Nottingham nightclub injuring two men and a woman.  The victims were taken to hospital but their injuries were not life threatening.  Police believe that the shooting was the result of a grudge against one of the victims.   The club has now had its licence revoked (BBC, October 6 2006).

BBC, 10 July 2006

Another child has been hit with an airgun pellet, this time a nine-year old girl who was struck in the upper arm while playing in the garden of her home in Bicester.  Although not badly injured the girl was left with bruising and was shaken by the incident.

AOL, 9 July 2006 *

Four people were found shot dead at a house in Newcastle-upon-Tyne after a man had walked into a police station armed with a nail bomb.  David Bradley, the nephew of two of the victims and cousin of the other two, has been arrested and charged with their murder (Northern Echo, 4 August 2006).  Bradley has admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility (see January 2007 Incidents).

Driffield Today, 7 July 2006

An airgun pellet was fired at the window of a children's nursery in Driffield.  This followed other airgun incidents in June which resulted in damage to Wetwang Village Hall and the smashing of the glass of a window at a medical centre in Driffield.

BBC, 7 July 2006

Police were investigating reports of gunshots in the Highfields area of Leicester.  A man and a woman, who was later released on bail, have been arrested.

BBC, 7 July 2006

Guns were among items stolen from a home in Stourport-on-Severn.  The haul included a £12,000 shotgun, a £2,500 hunting rifle, a £1,500 .22 rifle and a £1,000 12-bore automatic shotgun.  Police have alerted weapon collectors.

BBC, 7 July 2006

A man carrying a gun and a knife was spotted in Wythenshaw.  Police officers who were searching for him discovered a live bullet.

Sudbury Today, 6 July 2006

David Bunker was jailed indefinitely after a court ruled him to be a danger to the public.  Bunker was arrested after a one-hour stand-off with police following an incident at his home in Great Cornard.   He pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm creating fear of violence, and two offences of having an air rifle which was so powerful that it required a firearms license.  He had consumed a mixture of alcohol and painkillers at the time of the incident.

Coventry Evening Telegraph, 6 July 2006

Five men are on trial in Birmingham accused of murdering a man who died in April 2005 after being shot outside a pub in Foleshill (see Incidents).

Birmingham Mail, 6 July 2006

A sub-machine gun has been found by police in a raid on an address in Wednesfield, which followed an incident at a local petrol station.  Two men were taken into custody on suspicion of armed robbery.

BBC, 6 July 2006 *

A man has been jailed for five years for possessing a prohibited firearm and ammunition after accidentally shooting himself in the leg near a pub in Wooton, near Bridgnorth in June 2005 (see Incidents).  Dane Desmond Grizzle admitted the charge.  The gun, originally made to fire blanks had been converted to fire live rounds.  According to his counsel Grizzle sustained a very serious injury.

Daily Record, 5 July 2006

A Royal Marine was charged with possessing a handgun with intent to commit robbery.  He is alleged to have committed the offence in Barnstaple.

BBC, 5 July 2006

A woman was hit in the side of the face with an airgun pellet as she walked through an alleyway in Jaywick, Essex.  The pellet lodged itself in the right side of her face near her ear.  She had lost a fair amount of blood and was taken to hospital.  The pellet was removed under anaesthetic.

BBC, 5 July 2006

A shotgun and two deactivated guns were stolen from the house of a pensioner in Windsor.  He had let a caller into his house and whilst showing him a fence in the garden another person broke in and stole the guns from a display cabinet.

This is Local London, 4 July 2006

A Loughton man who found what he believes to be a bullet hole in his back window has criticised police for "ignoring" the problem.  The police have said that they will be looking into the incident.

Norwich Evening News, 4 July 2006

Rory Bowskill terrified staff and customers at Norwich City Hall when he slammed a gun down on the counter whilst complaining about a benefit claim.  Police officers found that he had armed himself with another gun, an axe and two knives.  He admitted possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence and other firearms offences.  He was jailed for five years.

Evening Chronicle (Newcastle), 4 July 2006

An 18-year-old woman was nearly blinded when she was shot at with an air rifle whilst camping in Ripon.  She was attacked by four youths.  Four people have been arrested (Sunderland Today, 5 July 2006).

BBC, 4 July 2006

A murder investigation is underway after a man was shot dead at a house in the Moss Side area of Manchester.  He was shot in the leg and died later in hospital.  Three masked men were involved in what police believe to have been a targeted attack.

Express & Star, 3 July 2006

A gunman was seen outside a Wolverhampton pub, following a dispute between a number of men.  It was the third incident in the city in a week.  In the other incidents shots were fired and a man was stabbed in the city centre and a car chase ended when a gunman opened fire near a fast food restaurant.

BBC, 3 July 2006

Three men and a woman were arrested after raids on houses in Whitley Bay in which a Taser gun and a small quantity of drugs were recovered.

Wigan Today, 1 July 2006

Armed robbers are believed to have escaped with £140,000 after a raid on a bank in Standish.  Two men carrying firearms demanded access to a room at the back of the bank and one made a member of staff open a safe and fill a bag with cash.

Leeds Today, 1 July 2006

A schoolboy was said to be lucky to be alive after he was hit in the skull by an airgun pellet.  The pellet, which was embedded in his skull, had to be removed during a two-hour emergency operation.  He was hit near his home in Wakefield.

ic Solihull, 30 June 2006

A man was in hospital after a shooting incident at a tower block in Castle Bromwich.  The victim was found with a gunshot wound to his right leg.

ic Birmingham, 30 June 2006

A shooting victim was left in a pool of blood after he was hit in a drive-by shooting in Newtown.  Children were playing football just yards away.  The victim was stable in hospital.

Bucks Free Press, 30 June 2006

An armed robber stole money from a bank in Hazlemere.  The raid followed a separate incident when a man tried to force his way into the bank as it was opening.

Northumberland Today, 29 June 2006

An elderly man was nearly shot with an air rifle whilst he was sitting on a seat next to a beach at Amble with his wife.  The pellet whistled just past him.  He was also the victim of road rage in the town.

Liverpool Echo, 29 June 2006

A pub in Croxteth which was badly damaged in a blaze was being monitored by police working on an anti-gun operation.

Evening Chronicle (Newcastle), 29 June 2006

In a shotgun attack outside a house in Benwell a man was left with injuries to his lower leg.  He was recovering in hospital.

BBC, 29 June 2006

Three shooting incidents occurred in Nottingham.  A man was seen firing a gun at a car in the St Ann's area.  Later the same evening shots were fired between two cars and then more shots were heard.  Armed patrols would be put on the streets, according to police.

Mansfield Today, 28 June 2006

Police have sent out a hard-hitting message urging youths not to use air rifles or other imitation weapons in public after three recent incidents in the Mansfield area.  In one two teenagers were seen waving a weapon around in an aggressive manner in a cemetery in Mansfield Woodhouse.  In another a man was reported to have been firing an air weapon near a civic centre and in the third youths were spotted using BB guns to fire at each other at a railway station.

ic Sefton and West Lancs, 28 June 2006

Police were hunting an armed gang who fired shots during a high speed car chase through Banks.  Two cars were seen speeding through the village and both cars were found burned out soon afterwards.

The Citizen, 28 June 2006

Police are hunting a gunman who tied up a male assistant in a robbery at a Chorley petrol station.  The assailant pulled out a handgun and demanded cash.

This is Bradford, 27 June 2006

Alasdair Harvey, a teenage student who claimed to have been the victim of bullying, has admitted shooting another teenager in the head with a ball-bearing gun.  The victim suffered injuries to his face and had to have pellets removed in hospital.  The incident took place in Keighley in March 2006.  Harvey will be sentenced in September.

Telegraph, 27 June 2006

A record label owner was left fighting for her life in hospital after her son shot her with an air rifle in the garden of their home near Henley.  The pellet was fired during a target practice session and hit an artery.  It was reported to have been a "complete accident".

Press Association, 27 June 2006

An undercover police officer carrying out a surveillance operation has been shot, sparking a street chase in which two men were arrested.  The police officer was with a colleague in Leytonstone, north east London, when the incident occurred.  He was hit in the shoulder and his injury was not life-threatening.  Police were interviewing five men in connection with the shooting (Guardian, 28 June 2006).  A man has been jailed for at least six years after being found guilty of wounding with intent and a firearms charge (see June 2007 Incidents).

Portsmouth Today, 27 June 2006

A 12-year-old boy has been arrested after a fellow pupil from a school in Southsea claimed he had been shot in the head with an airgun.  He said he turned around and saw a boy brandishing an air pistol and as he tried to run away the boy pulled the trigger.

BBC, 27 June 2006

A pair of air rifles, valued at about £1,000, have been stolen from a house in the Ketley area of Telford.  Other property was stolen.

BBC, 26 June 2006

In apparently connected incidents a man pulled out a sawn-off shotgun when confronted by door staff at a night club in Leeds and, minutes later, windows were blasted out at two house in the Chapeltown and Harehills areas.

BBC, 26 June 2006

A woman was taken to hospital after being shot in the arm with an airgun in Folkestone.  A pellet had to be removed.

ITV, 24 June 2006

Armed police stormed a home in Belsize Park, north London, after being tipped off by someone who saw a teenager in the house playing with a replica Heckler and Koch MP5 BB gun in his room and feared it was a real weapon.  Although the police were criticised by the family for being heavy-handed a spokesman said that "Armed officers will always respond to credible reports of guns being seen. ... they had no other option than to carry out this search."

BBC, 24 June 2006

A man was in custody after armed police were called to a holiday park near Mablethorpe following reports of a man claiming to have a gun.  No weapon was found.

Northern Echo, 23 June 2006

Police mounted a major operation after a break-in at a garage in the Burnside area of east Stanley.  It was feared that firearms had been stolen but the alert was scaled down when it emerged that the only weapons in the garage had been ball-bearing guns.  However, an unknown quantity of pyrotechnics were taken.

ic South London, 23 June 2006

A boy of 16 has become the latest victim of South London's gang culture.  The teenager was left fighting for his life after a hoodie gunman shot him in the stomach during an attack by yobs in a park in Brixton.

Guardian, 23 June 2006

Michael Lynch, 17, who was jailed for life for stabbing to death a student in Romford, had a string of previous convictions including shooting an Asian man in the leg with a ball bearing gun.

Dorset Echo, 23 June 2006

A man thought his life was over when a gunman pointed a double-barrelled shotgun at his head as he drove his convertible car through Colehill.  The driver pulled over, but the offender turned and ran.

BBC, 23 June 2006

A man was shot in the eye as he drove through a housing estate in Barnstaple.  He had a young baby in the car with him.  The police are treating the case, which they believe involved an air rifle, as serious assault.

Life Style Extra, 22 June 2006

A car involved in a suspected gangland shoot-out was being driven by a 13-year-old schoolboy when it was pulled over by police.  When the vehicle was checked the police found a fresh bullet hole.  The car was believed to have been involved in a shooting incident in Tooting earlier in the evening.

Swindon Advertiser, 21 June 2006

A person armed with an air rifle has been terrorising a street in Penhill.  An elderly woman had a pellet aimed at her and a man was shot on his way home.  One resident expressed anger at the time it took the police to attend after the first shooting.

ic South London, 20 June 2006

A gang of armed robbers led by Lanre Hameed were given lengthy jail terms for a series of terrifying raids in 2005.  Armed with handguns, Hameed and Marcus Onayiga held up a security van in central London in May 2005 and on their way home attacked a van driver in Walworth.  Hameed had also been involved in raids on an off-licence in Lambeth, during which an imitation firearm was used, and on a post office and a travel agent's outside London. Onayiga will serve at least eight years in prison and Hameed at least six years.  Two other gang members were each jailed for six years.   See July 2005 Incidents and April 2006 Incidents for earlier reports.

ic Coventry, 20 June 2006

An armed police response team went to Bedworth after a 999 call from a member of the public who had seen a group of youths with a gun.  The weapon was a BB gun.  A 16-year-old youth was "suitably spoken to".  Police urged parents to think twice before buying toy guns for their children.

Cambridge Evening News, 20 June 2006

A man has been charged with attempted murder after a man was shot in the chest with a handgun in Abbey, Cambridge.  The man has been charged with seven offences.  Eight gun shots were heard at the time of the attack.  A man has appeared in court charged with various firearm offences (see November 2006 Incidents).

Correspondent to GCN, 19 June 2006

Three pellets were fired into a new van as our correspondent was driving down a road in the Stoke-on-Trent area.  Had the passenger window been open he thinks his wife would have been injured.  He believes that the three pellets hit the van so quickly that three different air rifles were fired.

News Shopper, 19 June 2006

A school pupil fired a BB gun at an estate agent who was sitting at her desk in an office in Chislehurst.  The pellet shot past her shoulder and hit a filing cabinet behind her.  One of her colleagues saw a child sitting in a bus holding what appeared to be a BB gun.

ic Coventry, 19 June 2006

A man armed with a gun in Binley, Coventry, pointed the weapon at three teenage girls and threatened to kill them as they walked home in the evening.  The man hay have approached other people.  One of the victims said she could not tell if the weapon was real.

BBC, 19 June 2006

Mark Downs and Patricia Cremin were jailed for 11 years and 3 years, respectively, after convictions for possessing ammunition and firearm offences.  Police found a machine pistol and hundreds of live rounds in their flat in Hackney, east London.  Another man, Laurence McCarthy, was also jailed for 11 years - he had supervised the delivery of the pistol to Downs.  Their customer, Mark van Dinh, was jailed for nine years.

BBC, 18 June 2006

A man has been arrested on suspicion of possessing a firearm after a raid on a house in Soham.  He was remanded in custody for various charges which included converting an imitation firearm into a firearm, acquiring and possessing a large quantity of dum-dum ammunition bullets and possessing a handgun (Cambridge Evening News, 3 July 2006).

Driffield Today, 16 June 2006 *

Glass was smashed when an airgun was fired at a window of a surgery in Driffield.

Evening Chronicle (Newcastle), 15 June 2006

Lee Hornsby was drunk when he started playing with a replica pistol and pretended to shoot his young son in the street.  He phoned police to say a gunman was rampaging through his street in Wallsend.  Armed police surrounded the street and a stand-off began as Hornsby refused to drop the gun.  He pleaded guilty to wasting police time.  Magistrates adjourned sentencing.  Police once again warned pranksters messing with toy guns that they risk being shot dead.

Eastern Daily Press, 15 June 2006

Police are appealing for information after a woman was shot in the chest by what is believed to be an air rifle.  She had stepped outside her home when she heard two shots, one of which hit a window and the other hit her.  It is thought that the gun was fired from a first floor window in the same street in Shipdham.

BBC, 15 June 2006

Three men suffered minor injuries during an incident described as a "targeted" shooting at a hairdressers in Bradford.  They were treated at a local hospital.  The shots were believed to have been fired from a car.  Another report suggested that five people were hurt (Yorkshire Post, 16 June 2006).

BBC, 15 June 2006 *

A 14-year-old boy had to have an airgun pellet removed from his head after he was shot in Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire.  He was hit whilst standing with friends near the town's war memorial.  A youth has been arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm (BBC, 9 August 2006).

Herts24, 14 June 2006

A man was slashed as he single-handedly tackled a would be robber who was armed with a loaded 9mm semi-automatic handgun, which he dropped, and a knife.  The gunman had raided a worktop specialists in Hatfield.

Express & Star, 14 June 2006

A security van driver was handcuffed and threatened with a firearm by a gang after he pulled up at a petrol station in Lichfield.  He was taken away in a white transit van and the gang unloaded a substantial amount of cash into a second van.

BBC, 14 June 2006

Police have begun searching for a man they want to interview in connection with several burglaries and gun theft.  Leon Spencer is believed to be linked to a burglary in Redwell, Northamptonshire, where firearms were stolen earlier in the month.  Spencer is believed to be in Wellingborough.

The Star (Barnsley), 13 June 2006

A seven-year-old girl was shot in the face with an airgun as she played with friends in the grounds of her primary school between Sheffield and Rotherham.  A pellet lodged beneath her skin between her right eye and temple and the girl is now facing surgery to have it removed.  Police are investigating the shooting.

GCN is grateful to a correspondent for sending us this article

Lancashire Telegraph, 13 June 2006

John Bradley brandished an airgun at two neighbours in Rossendale and threatened to blow them to bits.  He admitted possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence and having an offensive weapon in March 2005.

BBC, 13 June 2006

Police were called to a pub in Nottingham after a fight.  A man has been charged with possession of an imitation gun with intent to cause fear of violence.

BBC, 13 June 2006

A man was shot in a street in Edgbaston and suffered a single gunshot wound to his arm.  He was in a stable condition in hospital.

BBC, 13 June 2006

During a press conference in Forest Gate one of two brothers, who were arrested by the Metropolitan Police's anti-terrorist squad on 2 June, described the moment he was shot in the chest when the police broke into his house.  He believed it was a robbery and said he didn't know that the police were involved until he had been taken outside.

Grantham Today, 12 June 2006

A mother from Grantham is calling for tighter controls on the sale of ball-bearing guns after her 10-year-old son's father bought one, mistaking it for a toy.  The shop where the gun was bought has a notice where the guns are kept saying they will not be sold to under-18s.

BBC, 12 June 2006

Two armed men robbed a supermarket in Gosforth.  One was brandishing what appeared to be a pistol, the other carried a large knife.

BBC, 12 June 2006

A Taser stun gun was lost by a police officer between Lewes and Eastbourne.  An urgent search was underway for the weapon which was probably left on the roof of a police car before the officer drove off.

BBC, 12 June 2006

A man who was driving on the A184 in Gateshead was shot in the heal while driving his van.  He had to have surgery to remove an air rifle pellet from his head.

Life Style Extra, 11 June 2006

A schoolboy who was stabbed to death in south London is shown on a gang website masked and pointing a pump-action shotgun at the camera.  His father said he did not believe his son was involved with gangs, guns or knives.

BBC, 11 June 2006

Two men in a van pulled up next to a car in Walton-on-Thames and fired two shots.  The car was unoccupied and there were no reports of any injuries.

Guardian, 10 June 2006 *

A jilted teenager apparently shot dead his 15-year-old ex-girlfriend and then turned the gun on himself in a house in Salford.  The girl died instantly, the youth died later in hospital.  Detectives were investigating how the youth got hold of a shotgun (Guardian, 12 June 2006).  An inquest opened in December 2006 and the coroner appealed for the public's help to discover how Joshua Thompson had gained access to the gun (Manchester Evening News, 20 December 2006).

BBC, 10 June 2006

A 16-year-old girl was shot in a street in Banbury with an airgun.  She had just made a telephone call in a phone box when a car with three men inside pulled up alongside.  A man shouted "several sexual remarks" at her before getting out and shooting her in the hand.  She needed surgery to remove a pellet.

Liverpool Echo, 9 June 2006

The police issued another warning that children playing with replica guns could be accidentally shot by armed police after a 10-year-old boy was found playing with a BB gun in a residential street in Halewood.  He was given a "severe telling off" by officers.  Although the police were criticised by the boy's mother, their action was praised by other parents who contacted the Liverpool Echo (13 June 2006).

ic South London, 9 June 2006

A former boxing champion was arrested and put in a police cell after his son's airgun was mistaken for a rifle.  Police branded him as "irresponsible" for carrying the airgun which he was taking back to the shop in Caterham where he'd bought it to have it mended.  He was released without charge.

ic Croydon, 9 June 2006

A hooded gunman fired four shots at the front door of a home in South Norwood.  The victim answered his door to find a man pointing a handgun: he immediately slammed the door shut but the gunman then fired.

Cheshunt and Waltham Mercury, 9 June 2006

An armed robber stole a five figure sum of cash from a security guard at a petrol station near High Beach.  The guard was forced to hand over the money when a man pointed a gun at him.

BBC, 9 June 2006

A man has appeared in court charged with five counts of attempted murder over two shootings, one at a concert at the NEC in Birmingham in February 2006 (see March 2006 Incidents) and another in Ladywood this month in which two people were injured.  He is also charged with two counts of having a firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence, robbery and dangerous driving following an incident in Highgate in November 2005.

BBC, 9 June 2006

Five people have been arrested in connection with a series of airgun shootings in Trowbridge which left three people injured.  The victims were a woman who was hit in the arm, a 14-year-old girl shot in the neck and a man who was shot in the chest.  An air rifle has been recovered.  The three victims were discharged from hospital after treatment to remove pellets but the trauma of the event had left them severely shaken (This is Wiltshire, 16 June 2006).

Lancashire Evening Post, 8 June 2006

Zoheb Patel was sentenced for possession of an imitation firearm which he had bought from a toy shop in Blackpool.  He was cleared by a jury of intending to cause fear of violence by pointing the gun at an armed police officer in Preston.  He was fined £500 and the judge warned that buying realistic toy guns could place members of the public at risk.  Patel told the court he was "messing around" with the ball-bearing gun with friends.

BBC, 8 June 2006

Linda West was convicted of the murder of her husband in their Southampton flat in May 2005 (see Incidents).  The prosecution claimed she had deliberately loaded her husband's double-barrelled shotgun and shot him at close range because of a heated row that evening.  Her husband was hit in the heart, killing him instantly.  Sentencing was deferred.

BBC, 7 June 2006

Two men were cautioned by police after shooting at a passing car with a BB gun.  The incident had taken place in Weston-super-Mare.  The BB gun was seized.

Times, 6 June 2006

Following the double shooting in Ardwick (see below) The Times reported recent incidents in Manchester, thought to be gun attacks between gangs over drugs in the south of the city.  During the last month a man was  shot in the chest when the occupants of a stolen car fired at people in another car in Longsight.  A man was shot in the back at a flat in the Bradford area of the city (150 shotgun pellets were removed from his back, arms, neck and head) and another man was shot in the hand after being approached by a group of men in Rusholme.  Police raided six addresses in Longsight and Fallowfield and arrested two men on suspicion of firearms offences: a sub-machinegun, a pistol, two shotguns and ammunition were recovered along with Class C drugs and stolen property.

Evening Chronicle (Newcastle), 6 June 2006

Five men have been arrested after firing airguns near a golf course in Cramlington.  A police firearm unit was deployed.

National Newspapers, 5 June 2006

A masked gunman, one of a number of men in a car, shot two teenage boys in Ardwick, Manchester.  A 15-year-old is seriously injured: he was hit five times (in the chest, back, groin, buttock and thigh).  A 13-year-old was hit in the lower leg.  Detectives are trying to find a motive for the shootings, but the early indications were that this was not a random attack.

BBC, 4 June 2006

Two men were shot, one fatally, when a gun was fired into a car in the Fir Vale area of Sheffield.  There were five people in the car at the time.  The second victim was seriously injured.  Police are searching for a second vehicle which they believe was involved in the attack.

Evening News (Norwich), 3 June 2006

Henry Barham, 18, went to a shop in Norwich armed with what is believed to be a ball-bearing gun, after getting information about how to carry out an armed robbery from a website.  He fled empty-handed but his mother was suspicious and reported the matter to the police.  Barham has been given conditional bail whilst receiving psychiatric and drug rehabilitation help.

ic South London, 2 June 2006

Five police officers were shot at at point-blank range by a man armed with a shotgun in Camberwell.  The officers escaped unharmed.  The incident occurred when the officers pulled over a suspected stolen car.  The shooting meant that at least 10 on-duty policemen have been fired upon in South London in the last five months.

Eastern Daily Press, 2 June 2006

Ashley Dowe, 18, pointed an imitation gun to the head of a student and tried to get him to hand over money.  He ran off by was traced by a drinks bottle which he left behind and had his DNA on it.  At Norwich Crown Court he admitted possessing an imitation firearm and common assault.  He was sentenced to two years' custody.

BBC, 2 June 2006

A man armed with a handgun escaped with cash from a bank in Dartford.  No one was injured.

BBC, 2 June 2006

Four people were arrested in Marton, Middlesbrough, after police raided a house.  Two were released unconditionally, another man was released on police bail.  A BB gun was recovered.

This is Bradford, 1 June 2006

Two special constables, Tony Hindle and Paul Barraclough, were given merit certificates for disarming a man in Wilsden.  The man had been armed with a 12-inch blade and a gas powered ball-bearing gun.  Their citation said their courage probably prevented a serious assault.

Comet, 1 June 2006

Armed officers swooped on a street in Biggleswade after reports of a youth with a gun.  The boy was later quizzed at home in front of his parents and the gun was found to be a toy spud gun.  A police spokesman said that they had no option but to bring in the armed response unit after a member of the public had reported a youth with what appeared to be a weapon, and that "it is just stupidity to take even a toy weapon on the street because of the consequences that might happen."  The youth was given a warning.

BBC, 1 June 2006

A man was found shot dead in Whitstable after police were called to a domestic incident involving a firearm.  It appears that the man had shot himself and the incident is not being treated as suspicious.

Northern Echo, 31 May 2006

A man was threatened with a black handgun when he tried to stop a teenage thief stealing a satellite navigation system from his van.  The van was left in Saltersgill, Middlesbrough.  The thief had an accomplice who was probably acting as a lookout.

24dash.com, 31 May 2006

British Transport Police set up metal airport-style arches at Luton railway station to stop people with weapons during the town's international carnival.  Twenty six people were arrested: at least two people were charged with possession of an offensive firearm.

BBC, 28 May 2006

Police have appealed for witnesses after shots were fired at a house in Middleton, Greater Manchester, earlier in the month.  A window was shattered by the gunshots.

BBC, 27 May 2006

A woman was shot in the leg outside a nightclub in Catford, south east London.  Four other people were found injured, but police officers said they were investigating how they became hurt.  The woman's injuries were said not to be life-threatening.

BBC, 27 May 2006

A man had his car stolen by a man brandishing a pistol at him.  The driver was threatened as he parked outside a house in Blackley, Manchester.

Richmond & Twickenham Times, 26 May 2006

Pupils at a Hampton school were kept in their classrooms after reports of a gunman in the area.  Trains were stopped outside Hampton station after a man called police saying he had been followed by gunmen.  He also said that his ex-wife and son had been shot.  Nothing untoward was found and a man was later taken to hospital suffering from mental health problems.

Mirror, 25 May 2006 *

A man was shot dead in his car on a clifftop in Marsden, south Tyneside.  It is believed that the attack was a gangland hit in a turf war over drugs.  He had been shot up to six times (South Tyneside Today, 22 June 2006).  Two men have now been jailed in connection with the murder (see April 2007 Incidents).

Isle of Wight County Press, 25 May 2006

A man diagnosed with depression may have shot himself, an inquest was told.  He was found with a gunshot wound to his head at his home in St Lawrence.  The death is not being treated as suspicious.

Guardian, 25 May 2006 *

Detectives were hunting a gunman who shot two people within minutes of each other in Islington and Finsbury Park, north London.  The first victim, a man, was left with potentially life-threatening injuries.  In the second shooting a woman bystander was hit in the back.  Police have indicated that the male victim may simply have bumped into the gunman (BBC, 25 May 2006).  A man has been found guilty on three counts of attempted murder and faces and indeterminate jail sentence (see February 2007 Incidents).

East Anglian Daily Times, 25 May 2006

Police were hunting a robber who walked into a bank in Colchester and threatened a cashier with a gun.  He was holding what was believed to be a firearm wrapped in a plastic bag.  The cashier handed over cash, and although uninjured she was left shocked and upset.

Bury Times, 25 May 2006

Elis Rrukaj was jailed for life after being involved in a string of brutal robberies on bookmakers.  In August 2005 he was one of two men who raided a bookies in Bury and pistol-whipped his victims and repeatedly prodded one with a stun gun until he agreed to open the safe.  He had also targeted seven bookmakers and a pizzeria in Uxbridge.  He was given eight concurrent life sentences and also jailed for five year concurrent for possessing an imitation firearm and four years for grievous bodily harm.

This is Essex, 24 May 2006

A taxi driver and his passengers were lucky not to be killed after an object was fired at the windscreen of the car he was driving in the Harwich area.  It appears that something was fired with either a catapult or a ball bearing gun.

This is Bristol, 24 May 2006

Armed robbers held up a security van as it delivered money to a supermarket cashpoint in Fishponds.  One of the two men was wielding a gun as they forced a security guard to empty his cash box.  The robbers made off in a stolen car with an estimated £70,000.

News & Star, 24 May 2006

Police have issued another warning about the use of ball bearing guns after a string of shootings in Carlisle.  Officers were called out to four reports of BB guns being fired by teenagers in Botcherby and Harraby.  The weapons were fired indiscriminately in the street and at passing cars.

Lancashire Evening Telegraph, 23 May 2006

An armed robber has struck six times since April 2, and four times in the past week, during which he stole cash and tobacco from shops in Blackburn.  One store has been raided twice in a week.  In the latest raid the robber pointed a gun at the head of the store boss.

The Citizen (Blackburn), 23 May 2006

Bar staff and drinkers at a pub in Blakey Moor, Blackburn, were left shocked and scared when a man allegedly walked into the pub brandishing what appeared to be a small handgun.  He was reported to have shouted that he was going to kill someone.  The man left after being calmed down.  A man has been arrested on suspicion of possession of a firearm and attempting to cause fear of violence.

BBC, 22 May 2006

A 13-year-old girl from Cosham has been charged with a firearm offence following an incident in which a member of the public reported seeing a person with a weapon.

BBC, 21 May 2006

A man was hit on the head and threatened with a handgun after two men got out of a vehicle in Hastings and attacked him.

Sunderland Today, 19 May 2006

There are fears that a 16-year-old girl may never again be able to see properly after she was hit in the face by an air rifle pellet fired by a hidden gunman.  She was walking up a lane near her school in Hylton when she was hit and felt a sharp pain in her left eye.

ic Coventry, 19 May 2006

A man claiming to have a gun threatened a member of staff at a post office in Ryton-on-Dunsmore although police said no weapon was seen.  The man ran from the store empty handed when the alarm was activated.

Cumberland News, 19 May 2006

Police have launched a crackdown on vandals who have plagued two estates in Carlisle.  Operation Minstrel is part of an ongoing campaign to crackdown on yob culture which has included attacks in which ball-bearing guns have been fired at windows.

BBC, 19 May 2006

Armed police surrounded an address in Harrogate after reports of someone being threatened with a handgun.  The incident was reported to be ongoing.

Correspondent to GCN, 18 May 2006

A correspondent wrote to ask if GCN had heard of any shooting incidents in the Derby area.  Her father's car had the rear window shot out on 10 May as he travelled home from work.  A bullet hole was found in the back seat head rest.  The matter was reported to the police but nothing was done and no officer had come to see the family.

Evening Chronicle (Newcastle), 18 May 2006

A double shooting took place at an illegal camp in East Howdon, near Wallsend.  Two men were injured in the leg and stomach and taken to hospital.  A car was pursued by police traffic cars after the shootings.

ic South London, 18 May 2006

A security guard wrestled a pistol from an armed robber in a street in Streatham.  The guard had been attacked outside a building society branch.  The guard was not seriously injured during the struggle.

Hastings Today, 18 May 2006

A couple who were walking their dogs along the seafront in Hastings heard a shot from an air rifle and turned to see a man reloading the gun in the window of a flat.  A pellet had hit some railings.

This is Worcestershire, 17 May 2006

During an armed robbery at a Bromsgrove shop a man threatened a lone member of staff with what appeared to be a silver handgun.  An undisclosed amount of cash was stolen.

Morecambe Today, 17 May 2006

A man was shot in the back with an air rifle in Lancaster.  Doctors say he was lucky not to be paralysed after the pellet missed his spine by inches.  The victim required surgery to remove the pellet.  Three hours later a teenager in the same area was hit in the shoulder: the pellet was removed under local anaesthetic.

Huddersfield Daily Examiner, 17 May 2006

A man was shot in the hand with an air rifle in Batley Cemetery by one of two men who stopped him and stole his phone.

BBC, 17 May 2006

Armed police, dogs teams and negotiators went to Combe Martin after reports that a local man had gone missing, taking a rifle with him.  The man, who was wearing camouflage clothing, was found and initially fled before surrendering peacefully.  He was later released by police.

BBC, 17 May 2006

A woman was robbed at gunpoint as she picked up her son from school in Leeds.  Two or three men, one of whom was believed to be armed, robbed the woman of a ring and watch in the school car park.  Her young daughter was in the back of the car at the time.  The men made off in a car which had been stolen the day before.

BBC, 17 May 2006

An armed gang escaped with a substantial amount of money after a raid at a petrol station in Mexborough.  A security guard was threatened with a handgun.

Yorkshire Post, 16 May 2006

An army veteran faced two charges of attempted murder following an incident in Harehills, Leeds, in October 2005 (see Incidents).  He had fired at police with a Winchester rifle during a siege at his girlfriend's house.  He had kept eight guns, all licensed, at the house.  The court heard that a crowd of local residents "clapped and cheered" as the man shot at the police officers (Yorkshire Post, 18 May 2006).  James Atkinson admitted possession of a rifle with intent to endanger life, cause fear or violence and resist arrest, but was cleared by the jury of attempted murder.  He was jailed for 8 years (Mirror, 24 May 2006).

Portsmouth Today, 16 May 2006

Among the latest attacks on bus drivers in the Portsmouth area was one in which a driver was shot by a youth with a ball-bearing gun as he drove through Gosport.

Evening Star (Suffolk), 16 May 2006

An Ipswich restaurateur believes that a spate of attacks on his takeaway may be racially motivated.  In the most recent attack a front window was cracked by an airgun pellet.

BBC, 16 May 2006

Simeon Jones unleashed a volley of shots into a crowd in a barber's shop in Newtown, Birmingham, as his brother was being attacked in August 2005 (see September 2005 incidents).  The shots killed one person and wounded another.  Jones admitted manslaughter and was jailed for 11 years.

BBC, 16 May 2006 *

A holdall containing a number of semi-automatic handguns, silencers and 748 rounds of ammunition was found when armed police stopped a car in Kentish Town, London.  Two men have been charged with firearm offences.  Anthony Magee pleaded guilty to possessing prohibited weaponry (18 converted gas pistols, 18 silencers) and ammunition without a licence but was found hanged in prison before he was sentenced.  A second man, Gerald Smith, was sentenced to 10-and-a-half year imprisonment (BBC, 7 March 2007).

Huddersfield Daily Examiner, 15 May 2006

Two men, one of them a teenager, robbed a petrol station cashier in Birchencliffe.  The teenager pointed a silver semi-automatic handgun at the cashier.

BBC, 15 May 2006

Abdullah Baybasin, who lived in Edgware, north London, and is thought to be responsible for much of Britain's heroin trade, has been jailed for 22 years.  His gang, known as the Bombacilar, routinely carried guns and had used them to intimidate people for years.

BBC, 15 May 2006

A man was attacked by men wearing masks outside a restaurant in Tividale, West Midlands.  One of the masked men used a handgun to shoot the victim a number of times in the leg and stomach.

This is Nottingham, 13 May 2006

A gang fired airgun pellets at a house in Aspley as a terrified mother and her two young children waited for police to arrive.  One of the pellets flew into the bedroom of one of the children as she was revising for an exam.  A group of people including a boy with an air weapon were in gardens near her home.  It took 90 minutes for the police to respond.

BBC, 13 May 2006

A pub in Folkestone was cordoned off after a teenage man was shot in the leg.  The victim was taken to hospital:  the wound was not life threatening.  A man has been arrested.

Pendle Today, 12 May 2006

A security guard in Nelson is recuperating after being shot in the arm with an air rifle.  He was patrolling a car park at the time he was hit.

Newbury Today, 12 May 2006

A woman has been charged with possession of a firearm following a police pursuit on the M4 in Berkshire.  A man remains in custody following his arrest in the same incident.

Whitehaven News, 11 May 2006

A 17-year-old from Whitehaven has been sent to a young offenders institution for four months are admitting beating another teenager and being found guilty of possessing an air rifle in a public place.  He had the weapon near a park area where children were playing.

Berwick Today, 11 May 2006

Two masked men threatened the manageress of Beadnell Post Office at gunpoint before fleeing with cash possibly around £2500.

South Tyneside Today, 10 May 2006

A teenager was arrested for brandishing an airgun outside his bedroom window in South Shields.  A passer-by alerted police after seeing him firing shots.  He was later released without charge.

Peterborough Today, 10 May 2006

A 13-year-old boy has been banned from travelling on his school bus to Oundle after firing a replica pistol, loaded with plastic pellets, as he travelled home on the bus.  The boy claimed he was unaware that the gun was loaded at the time.

Trinidad Express, 9 May 2006

Rick Gomes from Trinidad has been remanded in custody on charges of drug trafficking and illegal possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition after being arrested on arrival at Heathrow Airport.  Moves are afoot to have him extradited to Trinidad and Tobago to face trial on a charge of trafficking more than $13 million in cocaine.

Somerset County Gazette, 9 May 2006

Two men have been arrested on suspicion of armed robbery after two men brandishing a firearm robbed a service station in Taunton.

Mirror, 9 May 2006 *

Mark Foley pleaded guilty to robbery and having a firearm after an armed raid on an off licence in Surbiton in April 2005.  He stole £181 and over £1000 of alcohol and cigarettes.  He was given an indefinite prison sentence (BBC, 9 June 2006).

Wigan Today, 8 May 2006

Police officers negotiated with a man armed with a gun alone in a car in Skelmersdale.  The police had pursued the man following reports of a domestic dispute in Wigan.  Eighteen hours later the man turned the gun, reported to be a handgun, on himself and shot himself in the head (Bolton Evening News, 9 May 2006).  He later died in hospital (Bolton Evening News, 11 May 2006).

BBC, 8 May 2006

Two men have been charged in connection with a shooting in which gunmen opened fire on a people carrier from a motorbike in Liverpool.

BBC, 7 May 2006 *

A man was killed when he was shot in the chest in Rawmarsh, South Yorkshire.  A man has been charged with murder and his two brothers have been charged with affray.

Isle of Wight County Press, 5 May 2006

A man was found dead from a gunshot wound to his head at his home in Chale.  He was reported to have suffered from depression as well as arthritis, which prevented him from enjoying his lifelong love of shooting.

ic South London, 5 May 2006

Three men were shot during an incident that spilled from a packed club in Peckham into the street.  The three victims were hit in the legs and taken to hospital.  Two men have been charged with possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life, violent disorder, and possession of ammunition.

Whitehaven News, 4 May 2006

George Young of Cleator Moor, jailed for 120 days after breaching sex offender registration rules, was also ordered to serve 30 days, concurrently, after admitting possessing a firearm, namely an air rifle, when banned for five years.

This is Lancashire, 4 May 2006

Viston Samuels was found guilty of possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life.  He had fired a 9 mm semi-automatic gun at a group of men in a street in Preston last year.  He was jailed for 10 years (This is Lancashire, 26 May 2006).

Rugby Today, 4 May 2006

Youths armed with guns, baseball bats and iron bars brought mayhem to Rugby.  The gang attacked a car and had to be dispersed by police.  Airgun pellets were fired, and police are investigating reports of drive-by shootings.

Reading Evening Post, 4 May 2006 *

Ahjad Hussain of Emmer Green has admitted trying to smuggle handguns and a Mac 10 submachine gun into Britain.  He admitted possessing a handgun, another weapon believed to be a stun gun and eight round of 9 mm ammunition.  He has been given a seven-and-a-half year jail sentence (Get Reading, 16 August 2006).

East London and West Essex Guardian, 4 May 2006 *

A man was left fighting for his life after he was shot in the stomach in a pub in Walthamstow.  The victim is in a controlled coma.  A man has been jailed for life for attempted murder and his partner was jailed for three years for assault, affray and assisting an offender (see November 2007 Incidents).

BBC, 4 May 2006

A woman was threatened at gunpoint by two hooded men in Warwick.  They forced her to hand over her keys before driving away in her car.  The car was later used in an armed robbery at a supermarket in Swadlincote, Derbyshire.  A security guard was shot in the legs and is recovering in hospital (BBC, 5 May 2006).

BBC, 4 May 2006

Police found replica and decommissioned firearms in a car that they had stopped in the Honicknowle area of Plymouth.  Three men were arrested on suspicion of burglary and a woman was taken into custody on suspicion of conspiracy to commit burglary.

BBC, 4 May 2006

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has said that a police officer, shot during a 17-hour siege in Rawtenstall in July 2005, would probably be dead if he had not been wearing body armour.  The gunman, Stephen Hensby, shot the officer with a shotgun and then hurled petrol bombs out of an upstairs window.  Hensby was judged to have committed suicide by a coroners court (see September 2006 Incidents).

ic South London, 3 May 2006

Vincent Stickings, 18, who pistol-whipped a storekeeper in Abbey Wood, has been jailed for 9 years.  He was armed with a gun when he and an unidentified accomplice who brandished a sword robbed the shop.  He was convicted of robbery and possessing an imitation firearm with intent.

Eastern Daily Press, 3 May 2006

A shopkeeper in Norwich refused to hand over cash from the till when confronted by a masked raider armed with a gun.  She shouted at the man to go away and he left.

Eastern Daily Press, 3 May 2006

Andrew Oliver, who had been out drinking, argued after arriving at home in Norwich, and left with an air rifle.  He was seen lying in a field at Neatishead and when police challenged him he wielded an axe.  Police shot him with a plastic bullet.  Green later told them he hoped they would shoot him.  In court he admitted affray.

BBC, 3 May 2006

A man returning from a stag party abroad was shot in the leg after arguing with two men in a car near Liverpool Airport.  Police believe that the intention of the men was to shoot another member of the victim's group.

BBC, 3 May 2006 *

A man was shot dead whilst standing by his car in Hornchurch.  His 6-year-old daughter was with him and his 2-year-old son was in the car.  The shots were fired from another car which drove past.  A man has been charged with murder and possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life after he was extradited from Spain (BBC, 15 September 2010).  He is on trial accused of murder and denies the charge (Daily Mail, 21 March 2011).

BBC, 2 May 2006

A man is seriously ill in hospital after being shot in a street in Atherton, Wigan.  The victim had been shot in the ankle.

BBC, 2 May 2006

A man threatened a woman with a gun on her own doorstep in Hartley Wintney, Hampshire, before firing the weapon into the air and running off.

BBC, 2 May 2006

A pub on the outskirts of Coventry was held up by three masked men armed with a shotgun.  The men threatened staff and customers before stealing cash and escaping in a car.

BBC, 2 May 2006

A court has heard how a 14-year-old boy killed his 12-year-old friend when he shot him in the head with an air rifle.  The boy, now aged 15, was showing off his father's new gun in his bedroom in Conisbrough (see May 2005 Incidents) when it went off, firing a pellet through the victim's eye and into his brain.  No treatment was possible.  The boy denies manslaughter by gross negligence.  Prosecuting counsel told the court that leaving such a weapon stored under a bed, as his father had done, was "very dangerous".  The boy was discharged after the jury failed to reach a verdict in July 2006 (see Incidents).

BBC, 2 May 2006

A man was seriously injured when he was shot in the stomach at a nightclub in the centre of Leeds.  Police who attended the scene were attacked with stones and bottles.  Despite surgery the victim died in hospital later in the month.  It is believed that he was targeted because he had accidentally spilt the gunman's drink (Leeds Today, 26 May 2006).

ic South London, 28 April 2006 *

A lorry driver was shot in the leg by two robbers who were fleeing a bungled raid on a security van in Portland Square, central London, in May 2005.  Two men have now appeared in court in connection with the incident.  One of them, Lanre Hameed, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob.  Marcus Onayiga, who denied a number of charges including carrying a firearm with criminal intent and possession of a firearm or imitation firearm, was found guilty of a number of offences.  Sentencing has been deferred until June (ic South London, 5 May 2006).

ic South London, 28 April 2006 *

Two men appeared in court charged with shooting a policeman after a plain-clothes officer was shot in the leg while on patrol in Brixton.  The victim sustained minor injuries.  A man has been sentenced to a minimum of nearly six years in jail (see April 2007 Incidents).

Hexham Courant, 28 April 2006

A serial sex attacker who lives in Darras Hall spotted a gunman in his garden, prompting a response by armed police.  Neighbours feel threatened by vigilantes out to attack the man, who has also received bullets and death threats in the post.

The Citizen, 28 April 2006

Two men threatened a funeral parlour worker in Burnley with a handgun and ordered her to hand over cash.  The men ran off as soon as the till drawer was handed over.  The victim was not hurt but was left traumatised by the raid.

BBC, 28 April 2006 *

A man is being questioned by police on suspicion of attempted murder after a man was shot at allotments in Orsett, Essex.  The victim was airlifted to hospital with serious wounds to his hand and body.  A man is to be jailed for the attack and for possessing a shotgun (see January 2007 Incidents).

BBC, 28 April 2006 *

A gang of four men were surrounded by police as they tried to flee the scene of a bank raid in Ashton, Preston.  One shot was fired but no one was injured.  The men were armed with a sledgehammer and a gun.  Six men have been jailed for their part in the robbery (see January 2007 Incidents).

BBC, 28 April 2006 *

Neil Wood has been jailed for life (to serve at least 20 years) after shooting a man twice in the chest while on the run from police.  He threatened police officers with an imitation handgun at his Wigan home when they came to arrest him for stealing bicycles in November 2005 (see Incidents).  He evaded police for a few days during which time he robbed and threatened two women and shot a man in the chest after he had refused him entry to his home.  The victim has made a full recovery but still has the bullets lodged in his chest.  Wood pleaded guilty to a number of offences including firearm offences.  The Independent Police Complaints Commission have reprimanded Greater Manchester Police after a bungled armed raid at a motel in which the suspect fled (BBC, 19 June 2007).

BBC, 28 April 2006

David Chapman, 19, has been sentenced to at least six years in jail after pleading guilty to charges of attempted rape, serious sexual assault and possession of an imitation firearm.  Chapman threatened two young boys with an imitation automatic pistol before seriously sexually assaulting them in Spalding in December 2005 (see Incidents).

BBC, 28 April 2006 *

A man has been remanded in custody accused of six armed robberies at banks and building societies across England.  His arrest followed a hold-up at a bank in Wotton-under-Edge in Gloucestershire.  Peter Zarre was jailed for 14 years - the others premises raided included building societies in Southwold, Aldeburgh and Woodbridge in Suffolk (East Anglian Daily Times, 11 May 2006).

Manchester Evening News, 27 April 2006

The son of a man, who died after he shot himself three times with a shotgun, claims the tragedy could have been avoided.  The man suffered from dementia and had his driving licence taken off him but he was still allowed to hold a licence for three shotguns even though this was pointed out to a senior firearms officer.  At an inquest the coroner said he was concerned about lack of cooperation between the DVLA and police firearms licensing authorities.  The man may have accidentally shot himself after slipping on grass on his estate in Macclesfield in April 2005 while taking a "pot shot" at Canada geese and had then turned the gun on himself.

Ilford Recorder, 27 April 2006

Armed police with machine guns swooped on a bus in Ilford and wrestled with a youth after passengers saw he was carrying what looked like an automatic pistol. 

Bromley Times, 27 April 2006

A petrol station in Penge was raided by a gunman who had attempted to rob the same petrol station three days before.  He was tackled by a cashier and fled when a customer came in.

Birmingham Mail, 27 April 2006

An inquest heard that a man who died after falling over at his home in Darlaston in December 2004 had shot himself in the head with an air rifle two weeks before.  A pathologist described how he had a pellet embedded in his skull but didn't feel it would have been life-threatening.  The coroner concluded that the fall was the cause of his death, which was accidental.

Evening Chronicle (Newcastle), 26 April 2006

A coroner has concluded that a 17-year-old took  his own life when he locked himself in a downstairs toilet in his home in Newton Hall with his mother's partner's shotgun.  He killed himself with a single shot in November 2005 (see Incidents).

Eastern Daily Press, 26 April 2006

A weapon, believed to be a ball-bearing gun, was discharged by a motorist at a crossroads in Hempnall.  Three men were arrested but have since been released pending further inquiries.

BBC, 26 April 2006

Durham Police have reported that armed officers were called to nine alerts involving air weapons over one weekend.  A spokesman warned that people carrying airguns were potentially putting themselves in a dangerous situation and urged parents considering buying an air weapon for a child to think again.

BBC, 26 April 2006

Police arrested nine people after raids in Middleton and Langley whilst investigating a series of shootings in Greater Manchester.  Those arrested are suspected of crimes ranging from attempted murder to possession of drugs.

BBC, 26 April 2006

A woman required hospital treatment for an injury to her arm after a firearm was discharged on the village green in Mangotsfield, Gloucestershire.

BBC, 25 April 2006

A music promoter who was handing out flyers in Hackney for a music event was shot dead in the street.  Operation Trident is investigating.

GCN is grateful to a correspondent for alerting us to this incident

BBC, 25 April 2006

A shooting victim was found on the back seat of a car by police who had followed the car.  He was seriously injured and was being taken to hospital by residents of a house in Anfield whom he had alerted, but died later in hospital.  Four men aged between 16 and 22 have been arrested on suspicion of firearms offences.  Police are considering the possibility that the man shot himself with a handgun by accident (Daily Post, 26 April 2006).  An inquest has heard how a 20-year-old shot himself with a faulty converted replica gun (see October 2006 Incidents).

BBC, 25 April 2006

Gerry Connors has admitted shooting two men at a travellers' site in Upchurch, Kent, but denied charges of attempted murder.  He pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent and a firearms-related offence.  He will be sentenced in June.

Eastern Daily Press, 24 April 2006

A hooded man held a sawn-off shotgun to the neck of a cleaner at a restaurant in Brundall.  He confronted her when she was carrying linen in an outside building.  The man fled only with some bottles of drink, tip money and the victim's handbag.

BBC, 24 April 2006

A two-year-old girl suffered a slight injury to her back after she was caught up in a shooting in Old Trafford, Manchester.  She may have been hit when two men fired shots at youths outside the house next door.  A 17-year-old was being questioned on suspicion of attempted murder.

BBC, 22 April 2006

Two men have been charged with a firearms offence after two houses were raided and three air rifles recovered in the Moss Bay area of Workington.

BBC, 22 April 2006

Eight men have been arrested after a shooting in Huddersfield in which one man was wounded in the head.

Pendle Today, 21 April 2006

In a number of incidents vandals fired pellet guns at windows of the parish rooms of a church in Colne.

BBC, 21 April 2006

A baker was threatened with what is thought to have been a shotgun and an axe in a bakery at Long Stratton, Norfolk.  Robbers raided the shop till and drove the baker to a cashpoint to withdraw more money.  He was treated in hospital for shock and facial injuries.

BBC, 21 April 2006

Dowaine Maye has been jailed for eight years after pleading guilty to manslaughter for accidentally shooting his best friend.  The victim was shot in the head as he and Maye ran away from police after disturbances in the Lozells area of Birmingham in October 2005 (see Incidents).  The weapon involved, a reactivated semi-automatic handgun, has not been traced.

BBC, 21 April 2006

A driver was shot by another motorist heading in the opposite direction along a road in Crumpsall, Manchester.  A man was arrested on suspicion of firearms offences.  The victim, who was hit in the buttock was in a stable condition in hospital.  The same evening another man arrived at Manchester Royal Infirmary suffering from a gunshot wound to his leg.

BBC, 21 April 2006

Whilst serving a seven-year sentence for robbery, Gary McAlister owned up to two unsolved raids on building societies in Nottingham in December 2000 and September 2001.  In the 2000 raid he pointed what appeared to be a gun at staff.  In the mid 1990s he was given an 11-year sentence for three robberies and possession of imitation firearms.  He has now been given a life sentence.

Melton Today, 20 April 2006

A Melton Mowbray shopkeeper was left terrified after an attempted armed robbery.  A masked man pointed a gun at him and demanded money from the till.  The shopkeeper was able to activate the panic alarm and the offender fled empty-handed.

Barnet & Potters Bar Times, 20 April 2006

Two teenagers have been charged with murder after a father-of-two was killed in East Finchley.  A post-mortem revealed that the victim had received several stab wounds and a gunshot wound, but could not say which caused his death.  Operation Trident were investigating the killing.  The attack was apparently carried out in front of children.

BBC, 19 April 2006

A sawn-off shotgun was uncovered, along with class A drugs, when police raided a house in Croxteth, Merseyside.  A man has been arrested.

BBC, 19 April 2006

A gunman was being sought after a man was shot in his upper left thigh whilst walking along a road in Bracknell.  Detectives do not yet know what type of weapon was used.

BBC, 19 April 2006

Armed robbers stole money from security guards filling up a cash machine outside a supermarket in Ashford, Kent.  Police said there were reports of shots being fired but no-one was injured.  The face of one member of the gang has been caught on CCTV (BBC, 20 April 2006).

BBC, 18 April 2006

A teenager was shot dead in a street in Battersea.  He had been killed by a single bullet.  Operation Trident is investigating.  Two suspects have been arrested and questioned (ic South London, 4 May 2006).

BBC, 18 April 2006

A man, aged 19, has been charged with attempted murder after shots were fired at a house in Erdington, Birmingham.  He has also been charged with firearms offences.  Two shots were reportedly fired from a handgun shortly after there had been a row between people in two cars and a motorbike.

Wigan Observer, 17 April 2006

A 92-year-old pensioner from Whelley contacted the police immediately after her window had been shattered by an air rifle pellet.  She had to wait five days before being contacted by officers.

BBC, 16 April 2006

Armed police used a Taser stun gun on a man who had ignored their requests to stand still.  The incident has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.  It followed an incident in Newcastle-under-Lyme in which a teenage boy was injured by a man with a samurai sword. 

This is Wiltshire, 14 April 2006

A man accused of threatening people outside a Westbury pub with a sawn-off shotgun appeared in court charged with two firearms offences including possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life.

ic Croydon, 14 April 2006

A gun was forced into a man's mouth after three men had forced their way into his mother's flat in South Croydon.  Two of the three men ransacked the flat for money and valuable property.  The gang broke into two other flats in the block, stealing electrical equipment.

BBC, 14 April 2006 *

A schoolboy was shot in the head with an air rifle whilst playing with a friend at an address in Henley-on-Thames.  A boy was being questioned about the incident.  The victim's mother has provided us with more worrying details about this incident and the subsequent lack of  action by the authorities (see Personal Accounts).

Sutton Guardian, 13 April 2006

A man appeared in court charged with gun crime offences after a gun was fired twice at homes in Wallington and, less than an hour later, outside a pub in North Cheam.

Stratford-upon-Avon Herald, 13 April 2006

Members of staff at a pub in Stratford were forced at gunpoint to open the safe in the office.  One of the managers was hit on the back of the head but the guns were not fired.

News & Star, 13 April 2006

Scott Walpole, aged 16, has been given an Asbo for a number of offences including trespassing with a firearm on land and possessing a firearm with intent to cause violence.  He had fired a .22 air rifle at two teenagers in the grounds of a school in Aspatria in November 2005.  The rifle was equipped with a silencer and telescopic sight.

Daily Post, 13 April 2006

A 10-year-old boy was held at gunpoint and ordered to lie down on the floor when a man armed with a pistol raided his parents' shop in Runcorn.  The gunman fled from the shop with a quantity of cash.

Croydon Guardian, 13 April 2006

Steven Jones was given a two-year conditional discharge for not having a licence for a gas-powered air rifle.  The weapon was found when police searched his home in Purley.  The firearms dealer who had sold him the gun had told him that he would not require a licence.

BBC, 13 April 2006

A shotgun valued at £2000 has been stolen during a burglary from a property in Farnham.  It was taken from a locked gun cabinet after the burglars found the keys.

BBC, 13 April 2006 *

A 15-year-old girl has lost the sight in one eye after being hit in the face with an airgun pellet in an incident at South Bank, Middlesbrough.  A 15-year-old boy was arrested and later bailed pending further inquiries.  An air weapon had been recovered by police.  A youth has been given a six-month detention and training order (see October 2006 Incidents).

BBC, 13 April 2006

An armed robber threatened staff with what is believed to be a firearm at a bookmakers in Beaumont Leys, Leicester.  He escaped with a quantity of cash despite being chased by two community support officers.

BBC, 13 April 2006

Armed police used a stun gun to detain a man who entered a pub in Totton, Southampton, with a handgun.  A blank-firing imitation handgun was removed from the man.

This is Local London, 12 April 2006

Darren Mathurin has been jailed for six and a half years after police found a Mach-10 machine gun and ammunition at the Harlesden home of an associate.  He was found guilty of possession of a prohibited weapon and unlawful possession of ammunition.

Camborne Packet, 12 April 2006 *

Armed response units closed off an area of Carharrack after reports of a man carrying guns were received by police.  Police had been told that the man may be intending self-harm after a domestic incident.  A man was later discovered with an air rifle and a shotgun and ammunition.  He was released without charge after a doctor deemed him fit to be released.

Newsquest South-West, 12 April 2006

Ryan Avent, 18, was sentenced to two years in a young offenders' institution after he had pointed an imitation gun at a police officer's head and fired.  He was also armed with a kitchen knife had been drinking at the time of the incident in Camborne.  He pleaded guilty to being in possession of an imitation gun with intent to cause the officer to fear that unlawful violence would be used.

BBC, 12 April 2006

Nine people have been arrested in Oxford after police found stolen guns at several addresses.  The suspects were being questioned regarding firearms, money laundering and burglary offences.  The guns had been stolen in a burglary at a house in Bampton, near Witney, earlier in the month.

Sheffield Today, 11 April 2006

A couple were held at gunpoint in their house in Ranmoor after three armed men fired shots into their home and forced their way inside.  The gang escaped in the couple's car with a haul of flat-screen TVs and a cache of jewellery.  The couple had previously faced another gunpoint ordeal whilst staying at the house of friends in Low Bradfield a year ago (Sheffield Today, 13 April 2006).

ic South London, 11 April 2006

Two men have been accused of a fatal shooting that took place at a flat in Catford in April 2005.  The victim was shot through the neck with a handgun.

ic Coventry, 11 April 2006 *

Three 12-bore shotguns (Beretta, Browning and Bettinsoll) and a C2 bolt action rifle with silencer were taken from a secure gun cabinet during a break-in at a house at Austrey, near Atherstone.  Shotgun cartridges and ammunition were also stolen.

Birmingham Mail, 11 April 2006

A gun was fired into the air by masked raiders who ambushed a security van at a petrol station in Marston Green.  No one was injured, and police were uncertain what was taken in the robbery.

BBC, 11 April 2006

A woman was arrested in the Netherley area of Liverpool on suspicion of possessing a gun.  Police had raided a house and a pub where they found a handgun and ammunition.

BBC, 11 April 2006

A four-year-old girl had to be taken to hospital when she was caught in the middle of a drive-by shooting in Hackney.  A stray bullet hit the window of the car she was travelling in, covering her in broken glass.  The intended victim had several shots fired at him but escaped with minor injuries.

Sheffield Today, 10 April 2006

A gunman fired into a house in Shiregreen, seriously injuring a father of three who was shot in the leg.  The victim's wife and children were sleeping upstairs.

BBC, 10 April 2006

Armed police arrested two men in connection with a robbery at a bookmakers in Avenham, Preston.  The men, who were armed with a handgun and sledgehammer, smashed a security screen and stole takings.

BBC, 10 April 2006 *

James Piotrowski has been jailed for seven years and four months by a court martial for handling a stolen assault rifle.  He stole the SA80 rifle from Wellington Barracks, London, in November 2004 following which he went missing leading to a manhunt in Birmingham (see Incidents).  See also August 2008 Incidents

BBC, 10 April 2006 *

Andrew Wanoghu, who had once been accused of murder, died after being shot in the back and heart in Brockley.  Wanoghu had stood trial for the shooting in July 2002 of Damian Cope, whose mother Lucy Cope went on to set up Mothers Against Guns.  Two men have been charged in connection with the killing and a man and a woman remain on bail while inquiries continue (BBC, 20 September 2007).  They have been convicted of murder (see October 2008 Incidents).

BBC, 9 April 2006 *

A man has been charged with attempted murder after a man was left seriously injured in a shooting in Salford.  The victim suffered head and neck gunshot wounds.  A man was been jailed for 12-and-a-half years (see October 2006 Incidents).

icCoventry, 7 April 2006

A masked man armed with a gun stole cash from an off-licence in Coundon.

BBC, 7 April 2006 *

Three men have been arrested after a teenager was injured when an explosive device went off in his hand.  The incident happened on private land close to his home in Burnley.  The device was classed by the police as a firearm and it is an offence to make them and be in possession of them.  The device had discharged shotgun cartridges into the boy's hand.  A second device was later discovered on a nearby allotment.  A jury at the trial of the three men, two of whom were accused of possessing a prohibited firearm, was told that the booby trap was an illegal firearm (BBC, 21 January 2008) but the jury cleared all three of the defendants (Burnley Express, 23 January 2008).  They were banned from having firearms (see March 2009 Incidents).

Whitehaven News, 6 April 2006

A Whitehaven man was charged with possessing a firearm with intent to cause another man to believe that unlawful violence would be used against him or another.  Police fear that a handgun may be circulating in the area as the gun allegedly used at the scene had not been recovered.  Two blank cartridges were found in the street.

Watford Observer, 6 April 2006

A teenager has pleaded guilty to shooting a female police officer with an airgun he bought from a shop.  The officer was shot in the upper leg while investigating a burglary in Carshalton in September 2005.  A police laboratory analysis showed that the gun was so powerful it could have killed her.  Police recovered two air rifles, one of which had a silencer and a telescopic sight. 

Telegraph, 6 April 2006

A French police officer who went shopping at Waterloo station was still carrying her gun in a breach of regulations which allow French officers to patrol the station's Eurostar terminal.  The French police have apologised.

Shropshire Star, 6 April 2006

A 19-year-old shop assistant in an off-licence in Leominster was threatened by robbers armed with a gun.  They left with £75.

Liverpool Echo, 6 April 2006

Houses in Norris Green were sprayed with bullets when a gang fired a machine gun in a drive-by shooting.  A group of teenagers returned fire with their own weapon. 

Birmingham Mail, 6 April 2006

Bullets were reported to have been fired at a house in Sheldon.  Police believe that the incident was aimed at a particular individual.

BBC, 5 April 2006

A man, who has denied attempted murder of his wife but admits causing grievous bodily harm, stood with both barrels of a shotgun in his mouth during a stand-off with police in Old Romney, Kent.    The case continues.

Matlock Today, 5 April 2006

A gang of masked men burst into a home in Curbar and robbed a couple at gunpoint.  The victims were tied up while the gang ransacked the home and stole cash and valuables.  The gang escaped in the victims' car.

ic Croydon, 5 April 2006

Michelle Edwards of Thornton Heath admitted keeping an illegal handgun, a replica converted to fire live ammunition, in her wardrobe "as a favour" for someone.  She has been jailed for five years (This is Hertfordshire, 6 May 2006).

Evening Star (Ipswich), 5 April 2006

A 14-year-old boy was recovering after being shot with an air rifle.  He was preparing to camp with three friends in Freston when he was hit with a pellet and received bruising to his leg.

BBC, 4 April 2006

Two men were arrested after being seen with suspected firearms in the centre of Swindon.  Witnesses had seen a car driver being threatened with a gun.  It transpired that the two men were armed with nothing more than a hand - one of then had held his hands in a gun-shape to the other man's head and joked "This is a carjacking", sparking an alert by worried passers-by (BBC, 5 April 2006),

Yorkshire Post, 3 April 2006 *

A teenager and two other men were being questioned after a man died from a single gunshot wound at a house in Castlebeck, Sheffield.  Gavin Reeves has admitted murder and John Barnes admitted he had been present (The Star, 4 October 2006).

This is Essex, 3 April 2006 *

A couple were held at gunpoint while shopping for snacks in Colchester when they became caught up in an armed robbery in which raiders wielded a shotgun and crowbar.

Lancashire Evening Telegraph, 3 April 2006

Shaun Varley of Accrington has been jailed for 12 months after he turned up at his girlfriend's house and threatened her and her mother with an unloaded air pistol.  He admitted possessing a firearm when prohibited with intent to cause fear of violence in October 2005.

Sunday Sun, 2 April 2006

Armed police sealed off a street in Stockton whilst searching for a man who had shot a family member.  The man was said to have been in possession of an air rifle-type weapon.  The man was not traced and enquiries were on-going.

BBC, 2 April 2006 *

A man has been shot dead on common ground in Chislehurst, south east London.  A post-mortem examination confirmed he had been shot in the head.

BBC, 2 April 2006

Two teenagers have been arrested after clubbers at a Torquay nightclub were shot by an airgun.  Police had received two complaints of minor injuries caused by pellets.  Two youths have now been charged with public order offences (BBC, 3 April 2006).

This is Essex, 31 March 2006 *

Three masked men, one armed with a gun and another with a knife, terrified shoppers when they attacked a security guard as he delivered cash to a shop in Benfleet.

Bucks Free Press, 31 March 2006

Three armed robberies have occurred in south Buckinghamshire in two weeks.  On each occasion robbers frightened their victims by pulling out handguns.  A woman in Beaconsfield was robbed of her handbag, and on the same evening three teenagers had mobile phones, wallets and driving licences stolen in Flackwell Heath.  Two weeks earlier a teenage boy had been robbed at gunpoint in Hazlemere.

Bolton Evening News, 30 March 2006

Michael Rollinson was jailed for three-and-a-half years after an incident in which he threatened a car driver with a handgun and then hit him with the weapon.  The incident happened in Bolton after the victim had flashed his headlights and sounded his horn at another car, in which Rollinson was a passenger.  He pleaded guilty to having an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear and other offences.

Newbury Today, 29 March 2006

An air rifle and golf clubs have been used to smash windows and lights during a spate of vandalism in Kintbury.

Lewes Today, 29 March 2006

A man carrying an automatic type black metal handgun robbed a post office in Lewes.  He demanded money from staff.

Lancashire Evening Telegraph, 29 March 2006

A robber made off with cash after holding up an off-licence in Redlam, Blackburn, at gunpoint.  Police believe he fled on a mountain bike after forcing a cashier to hand over around £100.

East London Advertiser, 29 March 2006

A teenager is on trial for false imprisonment and possessing a firearm.  It is alleged that he lured a cleaner back to his flat in Poplar and made her strip at gunpoint.

Croydon Guardian, 29 March 2006

A couple who were sitting on the top deck of a bus in Norbury were robbed by two youths, one of whom produced a handgun.

BBC, 29 March 2006

A roadside snack van parked by the A358 near Taunton was robbed at gunpoint.  A woman was threatened by a man in a balaclava and carrying what was thought to be a shotgun.

Yorkshire Post, 28 March 2006

A man was shot in the stomach and leg after two men entered a house in Great Horton, Bradford.  He was released from hospital after being treated for his injuries.

BBC, 28 March 2006

A man threatened workers at a scrap dealers in Nechells, West Midlands, with a handgun before fleeing with an unknown amount of money.

BBC, 27 March 2006

Armed police officers recovered a handgun when they arrested two men in Northampton.  Shortly after a further nine men and women were arrested nearby.  They are all being questioned on suspicion of possession of firearms.

BBC, 26 March 2006

A couple who were resting in their camper in a lay-by on the A249 at Detting Hill in Kent were threatened by an armed gang of three or four men, one of whom had a firearm.

BBC, 25 March 2006

Two men were injured during a shooting incident in Chelmsley Wood, Birmingham.  A teenager was taken to hospital with an eye injury after suffering pellet shots to the face.  The other victim suffered facial wounds but did not need hospital treatment.

BBC, 25 March 2006

A man was shot in a street in Wolverhampton when a fight broke out between about 50 people close to a nightclub.  The victim was hit in the arm and was taken to hospital.

BBC, 25 March 2006 *

A man has been charged with the murder of man whose body was found in Pattingham, Staffordshire, in September 2002.  The victim had suffered multiple gunshot wounds.  Five members of a gang have been convicted of the victim's murder and will all be given life sentences (see January 2008 Incidents).

Herts Advertiser, 24 March 2006

Ram-raiders smashed their way into a gun shop in St Albans and stole a number of weapons believed to be shotguns.

Hastings Today, 24 March 2006

A Hastings shop was robbed by a man brandishing a handgun.  The teenage shop assistant was threatened and was left in shock after the man got away with around £250.

Grantham Today, 24 March 2006

A lorry driver delivering ovens from Italy to County Durham was threatened at gunpoint in a lay-by on the A1 near South Witham.  The gang of five or six men made off with 25 ovens.

This is Wiltshire, 23 March 2006

A teenage girl was injured in the leg in an attack in Upavon.  Police are trying to establish whether a pellet fired from an airgun or BB gun was responsible or if the shot had been fired from a catapult.

BBC, 23 March 2006

A woman needed surgery to remove an airgun pellet from her neck after she was shot in Taunton.  Two other women and a man were also shot at.  Three men were being held by the police in connection with the incidents.

This is Lancashire, 20 March 2006

Masked raiders believed to have been armed with a sawn-off shotgun held up security guards at a garage in Bacup and escaped with £40,000.

BBC, 22 March 2006

A man was shot dead when he opened the door to at a house in Point Clear, St Osyth in Essex.  The victim had recently been released from prison following a drug dealing conviction.  Police do not think it was a random attack.  The police have since suggested that the victim may not have been the intended target (BBC, 24 March 2006).  Three men are on trial for his murder (see May 2007 Incidents).

This is Lancashire, 20 March 2006

Two men were arrested after a gun was fired outside a pub in Blackburn.

Bucks Free Press, 20 March 2006

A betting shop in Bourne End was held up by a man with a handgun.  He took the whole day's takings, believed to be around £2700.

Sunday Sun, 19 March 2006

A man was arrested and a suspected illegal shotgun recovered by armed police following reports of a domestic incident at a house in Shildon.  The man has since appeared in court charged with firearms related offences.  A police tactical firearms squad had initially targeted the house next door.

Times, 17 March 2006

David Cameron produced what looked like a handgun and pointed it at police officers when he was attempting to go back into his Cheltenham flat to rescue his wife and dog from a fire in December.  He later apologised to the officer.  Police found two guns, a BB gun and an air pistol.  He was jailed for one year after admitting possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.

Cambs Times, 17 March 2006

A firearm and ammunition were recovered from a property in Wisbech after police officers attended the address.  The raid followed the launch of an operation to crack down on crime across Cambridgeshire.

Mid Sussex Today, 16 March 2006

Shots hit and shattered windows in two houses and a college kitchen in Hurstpierpoint in the latest of a number of attacks in the area involving airguns.

Ilkeston Today, 16 March 2006

The cashier of a movie rental shop in Stapleford was shut in a back room by a gunman who escaped with the contents of the till.

ic South London, 16 March 2006

A girl was allegedly raped at gunpoint by two men after she had been picked up in a car in Streatham, a court has heard.  The trial continues.

ic South London, 16 March 2006

Charlotte Miller who was caught with two loaded guns, a military revolver and a keyring pistol, in her baby daughter's pushchair has been jailed for two years.  Police made the find at her home in Brixton in July 2005.

News Shopper, 14 March 2006

Two men, one armed with a small handgun, forced their way into a shop in Charlton.  The men forced staff to open and empty the safe and took the money.

ic South London, 14 March 2006

A woman was surrounded by an armed police squad after she had been spotted with what appeared to be a handgun tucked in her waistband.  She had been trying to glimpse a car accident in Morden at the time.  Celia Young admitted possessing an imitation gun and was sentenced to an 18-month community order.

ic Coventry, 14 March 2006

Two men armed with a baseball bat and a shotgun took cash and mobile phones during a raid on a petrol station in Coleshill.  The police are not linking the incident to another raid on a service station, at Corley on the M6, which had occurred the day before.  There a woman had been  threatened by two robbers, one armed with a handgun.

Evening Chronicle (Newcastle), 14 March 2006

A man suffered a fractured cheekbone when he was shot by youths with an airgun pellet.  He was walking his dog along a street in South Shields when the incident happened.

Evening Chronicle (Newcastle), 14 March 2006 *

A man has been accused of attempted murder after producing a pistol in a pub in Hexham.  Customers had wrestled the man to the ground and during the struggle the gun went off injuring the gunman's hand.  He was given a five-year prison sentence in August 2006 (see Incidents)

Burnley News, 14 March 2006

A takeaway delivery man was threatened with a gun during an attempted robbery in Burnley.  He pushed a pizza box into the attacker's chest and to avoid trouble offered the man a curry.  An imitation toy firearm was found later near the scene.

Kent Online, 13 March 2006

A couple have described being attacked following a long running campaign of racist abuse.  The abuse started when a boy aged about 12 fired an airgun into their garden in Strood.

Daily Post, 13 March 2006 *

A doorman was shot in the neck by a man he had thrown out of a pub in Widnes.  The attacker, who was accompanied by another man, had produced a handgun.  The doorman had been enforcing the pub's dress code which required customers to remove hoods (BBC, 14 March 2006).  A man has been found guilty of attempted murder and jailed for a minimum of 20 years (see February 2007 Incidents).

BBC, 12 March 2006 *

Two men were killed and two others injured in a shooting at a pub in Salford.  A man has appeared in court charged with conspiracy to commit murder (BBC, 3 April 2006).  Two people have been given life sentences (see May 2007 Incidents).  Another man has been convicted of conspiracy to murder (see May 2009 Incidents).

ic South London, 10 March 2006

A couple were shot dead in their flat in Upper Norwood.  The man's twin brother was also shot and remains in hospital where his condition is described as serious but stable.  His girlfriend escaped uninjured but is traumatised.  Police are hunting two men who came to the address.  Two men were being questioned over the murder (BBC, 14 March 2006).

Huddersfield Daily Examiner, 10 March 2006

A pensioner had a handgun fired at his chest during a robbery at his Crosland Moor home.  The gun fired a blank cartridge.  Three men demanded cash from the victim.

Birmingham Mail, 10 March 2006

Police are hunting for a car used by a gunman who repeatedly shot a man in the car park of a pub in Streetly.  The victim had been surrounded by a gang of men as he stood in the car park and became embroiled in an argument.

BBC, 10 March 2006

A man was arrested following a siege involving armed officers at an isolated farmhouse between Huish Episcopi and Langport in Somerset.  There were concerns that the man had become a "danger to himself", although it was not known if a firearm was involved.

Sun, 9 March 2006

Nathan McIntosh was jailed for seven years and his brother Jordan for 18 months after an incident outside a Wolverhampton night club in July 2005 (see Incidents).  Two club workers were shot in the legs with a handgun after the brothers had been banned from the venue earlier that night.

Luton Today, 9 March 2006

Workers in a Luton travel agents were threatened with a handgun by a man who escaped with cash.

Liverpool Echo, 9 March 2006

Airguns were seized when police raided homes in Croxteth and Norris Green in a fight against North Liverpool's teen gun gangs.  Gang members were arrested and drugs were also seized.  One so-called "librarian" is believed to be holding and lending weapons to youngsters from the age of 13.

Chesterfield Today, 9 March 2006

A teenage boy escaped serious injury when an airgun pellet lodged above his left ear.  He was hit as he and two friends were on their way back to school in Old Tupton.  The were followed by two young men with an air rifle.  He was rushed to hospital covered in blood.  A police spokesman said he could have been killed or lost an eye.

Welwyn & Hatfield Times, 8 March 2006 *

A gunman burst into a betting shop in Hatfield and demanded cash from staff.  He pointed a black gun at them before stuffing cash into a carrier bag and making his escape.  The man is believed to have been responsible for another raid on a betting shop in Potters Bar in February 2006 (see Incidents).  A CCTV picture has been released (Herts 24, 26 April 2006) but the same man was probably involved in another raid in July 2006 (see Incidents).

ic Surrey, 8 March 2006

A pub in East Grinstead has been closed temporarily after a string of alleged illegal activities including a firearm incident.

ic South London, 8 March 2006

Colin Harmes, who shot a man in the groin in a Wimbledon nightclub in April 2005 (see Incidents), has been sentenced to 12 years in jail.  The incident occurred after an argument over a spilt drink.

ic Coventry, 8 March 2006

A goalkeeper was fortunate not to have been seriously injured when an air pistol pellet whistled past his left leg during a match in Holbrooks.  Two youths who had been shouting and heckling were probably responsible.

Bexley Times, 8 March 2006

Appeal judges upheld the sentences conferred on Stephen Carroll of Bexleyheath.  He had admitted conspiring to supply class A drugs (four years sentence) and was given an extra five years for possession of a prohibited weapon, a live pistol.

BBC, 8 March 2006

One man is suspected of carrying out two armed robberies at banks in Hull.  At both he produced a black handgun.  He escaped with cash from the first raid but empty-handed from the second.

ic South London, 7 March 2006

Armed police swooped on a film set in Borough, believing it to be the scene of a double shooting.  They had been alerted by a 999 call.  The film shoot was unauthorised and involved a replica weapon.  The director was fined £80. 

Eastern Daily Press, 7 March 2006

Two people were hurt when masked men, armed with a shotgun and metal bar, raided a post office in Wereham, Norfolk.  One victim was hit a number of times with a metal bar.  The robbers escaped with an elderly woman's purse.

BBC, 6 March 2006

A man believed to have been armed with a handgun tried to rob a shop in Frodsham, Cheshire.  He threatened a female assistant before stealing a quantity of cash.

BBC, 3 March 2006 *

A police officer was hit with a shot from an airgun whilst investigating a road accident in Sheffield.  He escaped serious injury because he was wearing body protection.  A 16-year-old boy and a man have been arrested (Sheffield Today, 14 March 2006).  The teenager has been charged with assault and firearms offences (BBC, 6 April 2006).

BBC, 3 March 2006

A classroom window was shot with what is thought to have been an air rifle spraying the room with glass.  The room at the school in Bruton was being used at the time, but no one was injured.

BBC, 3 March 2006

A verdict of suicide was recorded after a coroner heard details of how a man died in East Malling in September 2005.  He was found in his car with his finger on the trigger of a shotgun.

BBC, 3 March 2006

A pupil at a school in Hethersett near Norwich has been suspended two days after a teacher was threatened with a toy gun in a maths class.  Although the school described the incident as a "minor prank" a teachers union believes it was potentially very serious.

BBC, 2 March 2006

Six people were being questioned in connection with the death of a man was found shot and set alight on the banks of the River Mersey in Speke in October 2004.  Five men have been arrested on suspicion of murder, a woman has been arrested on suspicion of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

News & Star, 1 March 2006

Melvin Earl was bound over to keep the peace for 12 months after firing an air rifle at a street sign in Carlisle.

Leeds Today, 1 March 2006

Two families were held at gunpoint by masked raider in separate attacks in Leeds.  A shot was fired in the first raid in Bramhope.  The householder's son twice rammed the attackers' getaway car before they drove off.  Nothing was stolen.  In the second raid armed masked men robbed a family at gunpoint in Alwoodley.

BBC, 1 March 2006 *

Two stewards were shot during a concert held by rapper Kanye West at the NEC near Birmingham.  One of the victims was seriously injured and was being treated in hospital.  The shooting happened after a man, who had no ticket, was ejected.  Two people were arrested and later released (BBC, 3 March 2006).   A man was arrested in June 2006 and faces charges relating to this and two other incidents (see Incidents).

BBC, 28 February 2006 *

A woman was robbed of £1500 by two men, one armed with a handgun, in the Heamoor area of Penzance.

This is Nottingham, 28 February 2006 *

A firearms officer was found shot dead at an operational support facility in Nottingham.  He had suffered a single gunshot wound.  His death was not being treated as suspicious.  An inquest recorded a suicide verdict and a review of selection procedures for firearms officers has been ordered by the Chief Constable (BBC, 8 March 2006).

News & Star, 27 February 2006

Two men were arrested in Carlisle after armed police searched two houses.  The police had been called after they received reports of a disturbance which may have involved a gun.

BBC, 27 February 2006

A man is being questioned after firearms and munitions were found at a house in Bournemouth.

BBC, 27 February 2006

Wayne Ellis was convicted of wounding with intent, robbery and firearms offences after a ram-raid attack on a bank in Southgate, north London, in August 2003.  Three co-defendants were found guilty of being involved in other armed robberies across London.  A man who was shot by Ellis as he chased him and another gang member said he would do it again despite the consequences (Enfield Independent, 1 March 2006).

24dash.com, 27 February 2006

Two men have been jailed for importing a firearm and offensive weapons into the UK.  Carl Fletcher and Nicky Caswell admitted two counts of smuggling and were each sentenced to 15 months imprisonment.  They were intercepted by HM Revenue and Customs at Coquelles at the entrance of the Channel Tunnel on return from a day trip to Calais in September 2005.

This is Lancashire, 25 February 2006 *

Stephen Taylor was jailed for seven years following a raid on a store in Bolton in October 2005 in which he was carrying a sawn-off air rifle.  CCTV pictures showed him pointing the gun at a shop assistant.  His accomplice Kevin Hilton who had a kitchen knife was jailed indefinitely.

Norwich Evening News, 25 February 2006

A woman was shot in the eye with a ball-bearing gun after burglars burst into her bedroom at her Yarmouth home.  The men demanded money and when she refused, one of them shot her at close range.  She was taken to hospital and released later, but had to be readmitted after she suffered bleeding behind the eye.

BBC, 25 February 2006

A man has been arrested after a man was discovered dying from gunshot wounds at a house in Ripon.

Telegraph, 24 February 2006

A gay couple who wanted to stay at a hotel in Overton, Hampshire, found they were locked out when they returned after midnight.  When they returned next day there was a heated exchange with the landlord during which he is alleged to have said "I'm a bloody good shot!".  He appeared to be holding a handgun and frightened the men.  Police were called and seized a rifle and shotgun, for which the landlord had licences, and an empty handgun box.  He was acquitted of possessing a firearm or imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of unlawful violence.  He had claimed his comment was simply a reference to his prowess in throwing beer taps.

National Newspapers, 24 February 2006 *

A mother and her son were abducted from their home in Herne Bay and held at gunpoint on a remote farm whilst her husband, the manager at a Tonbridge security depot, was forced to allow other members of the gang into the depot, where they stole over £50 million in Britain's biggest robbery.  A member of staff at the depot was forced to open the gates at gunpoint.  A number of arrests, some following armed police raids, have since been made.  Seven people are on trial and deny conspiracy to rob and have pleaded not guilty to kidnap charges and conspiracy to possess firearms.  An eighth defendant denies handling stolen money (Times, 26 June 2007).  Five men have been found guilty on kidnap, robbery and firearms charges (see January 2008 Incidents).  Another offender has admitted conspiracy to kidnap, rob and possess a firearm (see October 2009 Incidents).

Leeds Today, 24 February 2006

A gunman was being hunted by police after a man was shot following an argument in a lap dancing club in Leeds.  The perpetrator went to a parked car and collected a dark handgun before shooting at a second man.

Chester Chronicle, 24 February 2006

Three homeless people sleeping rough in Chester city centre were pistol-whipped by Mark Battison, who had been drinking, wielding an imitation gun.  Battison was jailed for two years after he admitted the attacks.

BBC, 24 February 2006

A sawn-off shotgun, an air pistol and a small quantity of what was believed to be class A drugs were recovered during a police raid on a house in Fishponds, Bristol.  A man has been arrested.

24dash.com, 24 February 2006

Ashley Thorpe used a crossbow, air rifle, a home-made cosh, a hammer and a knife to murder his landlord in a 50-minute attack in July 2005.  The attack took place at the victim's flat in Chard after he had told Thorpe to leave.  Thorpe fired three shots with the air rifle into his victim's face after he'd shot him with the crossbow and used the hammer to strike blows.

This is Essex, 23 February 2006 *

A security guard had a gun held to his head during a robbery at a shop in Vange.  The robber drove off with a substantial amount of money.

South Yorkshire Police, 23 February 2006

Two men were arrested in the Millhouses area of Sheffield in connection with the investigation of a series of over 20 armed robberies around the county.  A vehicle and a firearm were recovered in the operation.

Guardian, 23 February 2006

Michael Steele and Jack Whomes lost their appeals against conviction for the murders of three men who were shot dead in Rettenden, Essex, in 1995.  They had been jailed for life in 1998.

Telegraph, 22 February 2006

A man was found dead after what was described as a bizarre shooting accident.  He died from a shotgun wound just after leaving his house near Andover to go shooting.

The Sentinel, 22 February 2006

Ian Mountford threatened a neighbour in Biddulph with an air rifle in a dispute over dropped litter in May 2005.  He was sentenced to a 12-month supervision order and was ordered to spend at least six months on an alcohol treatment course.

The Sentinel, 22 February 2006

Stephen Dowling was sentenced to six and half years in jail after beating his former partner and threatening her with a BB gun while her daughter was in the house in Congleton.  He also threatened to kill two police officers and was involved in a three-hour stand off with police.  The incidents took place in October 2005 (see Incidents).  He pleaded guilty to burglary, grievous bodily harm, aggravated vehicle taking, driving while disqualified and using an imitation weapon with the intent of using unlawful violence.

Daily Mail, 22 February 2006

Armed police kept watch at a wedding in Bournemouth after the bride's father had allegedly threatened to shoot her because he was unhappy about the marriage.  A man was arrested on suspicion of making threats to kill.

BBC, 22 February 2006

A shop worker was critically ill after he was shot outside a convenience store in Bristol.   It is thought that the man was working in the shop alone when he was shot (Evening Post (Bristol), 23 February 2006).

BBC, 20 February 2006

Two gunmen raided a village shop in Pontesbury, near Shrewsbury.  The shopkeeper was threatened and a gun was put to his head.  A large amount of cash was stolen from the safe.

BBC, 19 February 2006 *

A man has died from a gunshot wound to his back after being discovered at an address in Thornton Heath, south London.  One man was arrested and bailed, and a teenager was arrested in hospital.  Three men who are on trial have denied charges of murder, possession of a firearm and conspiracy to rob  A woman has pleaded not guilty to perverting justice (BBC, 9 January 2007).

BBC, 18 February 2006

Armed police rescued a 10-year-old boy who was kidnapped from his family home in Walthamstow.  A ransom demand had been made after he was snatched by an armed gang.  Shots were apparently fired during a police raid to free the boy from a flat in Westminster.  Four men and a woman have been arrested and charged with kidnapping, false imprisonment and blackmail: three of the men, all from New York, were also charged with aggravated burglary and a firearms offence (BBC, 20 February 2006).

Times, 17 February 2006

Gary Nelson was convicted of the murder of a policeman and a nightclub bouncer in Clapham in October 1993.  The policeman was killed by a single bullet as he went to investigate gunshots.  The other victim was found shot dead in a house opposite.  Nelson and two unknown accomplices were seen laughing and firing guns in the air after the murders.  He was jailed for 35 years.

Rochdale Observer, 17 February 2006

A woman was told she would be shot by gunmen during a raid at a Littleborough garage.  She was followed into an office by two men, one armed with a sawn-off shotgun.  The men escaped with only cigarettes and cash from her handbag.

ic Coventry, 17 February 2006

Armed robbers abandoned their stolen car after it broke down in Exhall and then terrorised a young mother and her son at gunpoint before driving off in her car.  Earlier the three men, armed with a shotgun and knife, burst into a business at a Coventry industrial estate and fled with two bags of cash.

Evening Star (Suffolk), 17 February 2006

A man, armed with what looked like a handgun, entered a building society branch in Southwold and demanded cash which was handed over.

Mansfield 103.2, 16 February 2006

A man was spotted on the streets of Market Warsop with an airgun.  Police were unable to locate the man.

BBC, 16 February 2006

A 20-year-old man was injured in the back and arm after being shot twice in Anfield, Liverpool.  He was taken to hospital where he underwent treatment but his injuries are not said to be life threatening.  A man has been arrested.

Welwyn & Hatfield Times, 15 February 2006 *

A robber brandishing a handgun stole cash from a betting shop in Potters Bar.  He took an undisclosed amount of money which he had stuffed into a carrier bag.  he man is believed to have been responsible for another raid on a betting shop in Hatfield in March 2006 (see Incidents).  A CCTV picture has been released (Herts 24, 26 April 2006).

Shropshire Star, 15 February 2006

A community hall has been targeted by a gunman who shot a pellet through an expensive stained glass window just two weeks before its grand opening.  The building at Cross Houses was in the process of being converted into a new community centre.

BBC, 15 February 2006

Three people were arrested by armed police after reports that a man had been seen with a gun at a 31-storey building in the centre of Birmingham.

Willesden & Brent Times, 14 February 2006

GCN is very grateful to the father whose car was hit for alerting us to this incident.  He told GCN that a bullet was found in his car and was later informed that the bullet was a .38 or .44.  We sincerely hope that he and his two young daughters are able to recover from the shock of such a terrifying incident.

A man driving his two daughters in slow traffic in Ladbroke Grove heard a loud bang when the rear window of the car shattered covering his 10-year-old daughter in shards of glass - she suffered cuts to her face and leg.  His other daughter, 5, who was also in the back, was unhurt.  The police have asked for help in catching "the person or persons who think taking potshots at passers-by is acceptable".  Anyone with information should call the police on 020 8217 7366 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

ic South London, 14 February 2006

A stray bullet shattered a bus window and hit a seat when a man opened fire in Walworth Road, south east London.  Two shots had been fired.  The bus driver was shocked but unhurt.

ic Croydon, 14 February 2006

Two people were in hospital after a drive-by shooting in Carshalton.  A car pulled alongside the victims' car and four shots were fired into the car.  A teenager was left with a gunshot wound to the hand and a woman had cuts from glass shattered by the bullets.

BBC, 14 February 2006

David Turnbull and Steven McNeil frightened passers-by in a Carlisle street by firing a paintball gun from a car.  The 18-inch weapon looked like a pump-action shotgun.  After admitting affray, McNeil was given a two-year community order and put under a night time curfew.  Turnbull was to be sentenced later.

National Newspapers, 14 February 2006 *

PC Rachael Bown was shot and seriously injured whilst investigating a burglary in Lenton, Nottingham.  A man was arrested at Heathrow in connection with the shooting.  Trevon Kyron Thomas was charged with attempted murder (Mirror, 21 February 2006) and was convicted in December 2006 (see Incidents).  The weapon he used has been revealed to have been an army pistol (see December 2007 Incidents).

ic Coventry, 13 February 2006

Richard Wilson of Coventry has pled guilty to assault and making threats to kill.  He had got into an argument with his sister and threatened to shoot her.  In 1999 he was jailed for five years for robbery and a year for possessing an imitation gun.  He will be sentenced in March.

Evening Star (Suffolk), 13 February 2006

Police have linked a car found abandoned in Ipswich to an armed robbery on a security van outside a nearby bank.  A courier was struck with the butt of a gun and sustained an injury to the eye.  Two men had fled the scene with an undisclosed sum of cash.

BBC, 13 February 2006

A group of men demanded that a couple hand over their car keys in a car park in Cottingham.  They were allegedly threatened with a handgun.  Three men were later apprehended on the M62 motorway and have been charged with robbery, possessing a firearm and aggravated vehicle taking.

BBC, 11 February 2006

A fire engine had to be taken out of service for three hours after damage was caused when an air rifle was fired at it in Basildon.  The crew were returning from dealing with a car fire at the time.  A group of youths, one of whom was carrying an air rifle, was seen running away from the scene.

Knowsley Online, 10 February 2006

A man is in hospital after being shot through the window of a house in Huyton.  He has undergone surgery for wounds to the upper body.

Kent Online, 10 February 2006

The chauffeur to the deputy mayor of Medway was hit in the face by a piece of glass after being shot at with a ball-bearing gun whilst having a meal.  He had driven to the Mayor of Dartford's Ball.

BBC, 10 February 2006

A woman has criticised the police for failing to send officers to deal with a man who was wielding an air rifle outside her home in Malvern Link.  She had reported the man three times and says she is now too frightened to leave her house.

Manchester Evening News, 9 February 2006

Colin Tattersdale walked free from court when he was cleared of all charges, including possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear, after an incident in which he fired a starting pistol when two men threatened him on his doorstep in Macclesfield.  He had been fixing the starting pistol, which he used at work, when two brothers who had been drinking all day buzzed his intercom.  As one of the brothers was pushed the starting pistol was accidentally fired.

ic Berkshire, 9 February 2006

A suspected gunman was spotted at a sports centre in Crowthorne.  A major security alert was sparked when a customer told staff that a youth had been seen carrying a firearm inside the building.

Eastern Daily Press, 9 February 2006

A man, who knocked on a couple's door in Norwich and demanded cash, was armed with what is believed to be a gun or an imitation gun.  He punched the male householder in the face, who then slammed the door on him.

Life Style Extra, 8 February 2006

An armed robber fired a gunshot as he tried to wrestle a cash box form a security guard outside a petrol station in Neasden.  The gunman sped off empty-handed in a car.

Enfield Independent, 8 February 2006

A man was held at gunpoint during a burglary in Waltham Cross.  The burglars escaped with more than £20,000 worth of goods.  During the attack he suffered a broken rib, fractured cheekbone and a wound to the leg, and was also threatened with a scorching iron held to his face.  The burglars escaped in the victim's car which was found dumped in Edmonton.

Scotsman, 7 February 2006

An 18-year-old soldier was found dead at Arborfield Garrison in Berkshire.  He had been killed by gunshot wounds.  A spokesman for Thames Valley Police said no third parties were being sought but would not comment whether the death was self-inflicted.

King's Lynn Today, 7 February 2006

Graham Leonard and Peter Whitmarsh were both sentenced to 18 months jail for affray after an incident in July 2005 in which a .22 air rifle was aimed at police in Parkway.  The men were drunk at the time.  Whitmarsh said he had bought the air rifle at a car boot sale.  Both men had a number of previous convictions.  The judge commended the bravery of two police officers in coping with and defusing a dangerous situation.

ic South London, 7 February 2006

Robberies involving imitation weapons have soared by 50 per cent in the last two months, according to Lambeth police.  A spokesman said that "Replica guns are becoming a real menace that all parents have to take seriously."

ic Coventry, 7 February 2006

A motorist was robbed at gunpoint after being flashed by a following car.  Three men grabbed the victim after he pulled into a lay-by in Wolston.  One of the men shoved a gun into his stomach while the others took a wallet from his pocket.

BBC, 4 February 2006

A man received injuries to his leg when he was shot with a shotgun whilst working on a car in Wallsend.  Police are looking for two men who were wearing black ski masks and fled the scene down a nearby alley.

BBC, 4 February 2006

A man who was shot twice on a street in Croxteth, Liverpool, was taken to hospital for treatment.  His injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.  Police said there was no clear motive for the attack.

BBC, 3 February 2006

A former RAF serviceman is seeking £400,000 damages following a shooting accident at a firing range at Otterburn Camp in 2003.  He was taking part in a target firing exercise when he sustained a severe injury to his right eye after a round fired by a colleague hit his rifle.

BBC, 3 February 2006 *

A teenager who shot his cousin in the face with a shotgun was found guilty of unlawfully and maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm.  The incident occurred in November 2004 in Haverhill (see Incidents).  His cousin survived the shooting but there are significant concerns about his future health.  The defendant claimed that he had taken the weapon from his father's gun cabinet to "scare" the other youngsters.  However, he had got a live cartridge and had loaded it into the weapon.  He was given a three-year supervision order by magistrates (BBC, 1 March 2006).

ic Croydon, 2 February 2006

Police were called to a junction in Norbury after reports of a person wielding a gun in the street.  However, no one was found with a weapon.

BBC, 2 February 2006

Armed officers stopped and arrested two teenagers in a car after they were followed from Congleton to Stockport following reports that they had a gun. A BB gun was recovered.  Both boys were released on bail.

BBC, 1 February 2006

An armed robber threatened the landlord and bar manager of a pub in Bedford with a shotgun before escaping with cash.  The victims were shocked but unhurt.

Liverpool Echo, 31 January 2006

A pizza parlour owner was held hostage at gunpoint during a robbery in Prenton.  Armed police surrounded the building and shouted at the gunman to drop his weapon.  The gunman, who was drunk, was pushed to the ground and taken to a police station on suspicion of attempted robbery and possession of an imitation firearm.

Hemel Today, 31 January 2006

A man from Pitstone was held at gunpoint and shut in a cupboard during a burglary at his home.  The man had found three men behind him as he returned home who had rushed into the house behind him.  The gang made off in his car with several other items.

Burnley Today, 31 January 2006 *

Stuart Wedge, who had a record of horrific sex attacks, faces a long jail sentence for subjecting a 9-year-old boy from Burnley to a two-year ordeal of physical and mental abuse which included shooting him with a ball-bearing gun.  He has been given a four-and-a-half year sentence (Burnley Today, 31 March 2006).

BBC, 31 January 2006

Twenty rifles and ammunition were stolen from Tonbridge Rifle Club in Hildenborough by robbers who managed to break through a reinforced door.

Eastern Daily Press, 30 January 2006

Three teenagers robbed a man at gunpoint on a street in Norwich.  They made off with just £4 from his wallet.  One of the offenders had pulled out a handgun and demanded the wallet.

BBC, 30 January 2006

Three replica guns were among goods worth £100,000 seized by police during raids on car boot sales in Bingley.  Officers targeted traders who had previously been identified as selling illegal items.

BBC, 30 January 2006 *

A man suffered fatal gunshot injuries at an address in Folkestone.  It is believed that the victim may have been shot through the window.  Two men, Stuart Benson and Antony Perkins, have been jailed for life after being found guilty of murder (BBC, 9 March 2007).

ic South London, 27 January 2006

A 15-year-old boy was set upon by seven youths in a park in Camberwell and frogmarched to his home where the gang stole a games' console and a pair of trainers.  He was allegedly threatened with a gun during the incident.

Bucks Free Press, 27 January 2006

A 13-year-old schoolgirl was the victim of a drive-by shooting in High Wycombe in which she was hit in the eye with a BB gun.  The shot was fired from the back seat of a moving car.

BBC, 27 January 2006

Bags of cash were taken from a security van by armed robbers who raided the van on the Maidstone turnoff of the M20.  Witnesses said the offenders were carrying handguns.  No one was injured.

BBC, 27 January 2006

A man threatened the staff of a Gloucester building society with a gun before making off on foot with money.

BBC, 27 January 2006

A man needed 18 stitches to a head wound after he was struck with an airgun in Dursley, Gloucestershire.  He was approached by a man who shouted threats at him and was then struck several times.

Huddersfield Daily Examiner, 26 January 2006

A member of the African-Caribbean community in Huddersfield has told a reporter that up to 20 guns, including two Uzi sub-machine guns, are being passed around young people in the town.  He said the problem was interlinked with drugs.

BBC, 26 January 2006

A teenage woman was shot in the waist with a pellet whilst walking in Gosport.  She will need surgery to remove the pellet from her pelvic bone.  A few days earlier a 19-year-old man had been attacked in the same street with by a man armed with an air rifle.  The victim needed to have a pellet removed from his leg.  The police are treating the incidents as linked (BBC, 27 January 2006).

BBC, 26 January 2006

Three men have been arrested after shotgun incidents in Bristol.  In Hartcliffe a man suffered a wound to his leg and in an incident in Knowle West a shot was fired at a house.  A shotgun was recovered by police after the latter shooting.  During searches on a number of properties police found shotgun cartridges, a suspected reactivated handgun and other ammunition.

Worcester Standard, 25 January 2006

A robber armed with a gun stole thousands of pounds from a building society in Pershore.  No one was hurt in the incident which lasted two to three minutes.

Weston Mercury, 25 January 2006

Thousands of pounds of damage was caused in Portishead when vandals went on the rampage.  Staff at a builders merchants found eight bullet holes in the main window of the shop front.  It was not know whether they were caused by a BB gun or an airgun.  Damage was also caused to cars and a telephone kiosk.

Evening Chronicle (Newcastle), 25 January 2006

A teenager faces surgery to remove an airgun pellet from near his right eye after being shot in the head during what was described as a "fun fight".  He was also shot in the right leg at a house in Barmston, Washington.  Another teenager appeared in court charged with two offences of assault, causing actual and grievous bodily harm, and robbery.

Eastern Daily Press, 25 January 2006

A judge rewarded Terry Dickens £200 for his "great courage" and negotiating skills in helping a police officer in to a neighbour's flat at Thorpe, Norwich, in August 2005.  Andre Soppitt was holding an air rifle and started pointing it at the officer.  The judge heard that Soppitt had taken sleeping pills in a suicide bid.  He was given a one-year prison term suspended for a year after admitting possessing an air rifle with intent to cause the police officer to fear unlawful violence would be used against him.

BBC, 25 January 2006

Wesley Lovell and Frank Graham have been jailed for seven and six years respectively for drugs and firearms offences.  In April 2005 they were in a car that was stopped in Edgware by armed police.  A third man, Azelle Rodney, was shot dead by police during the incident (see May 2005 Incidents).  The court heard that three guns were found in the car.  Lovell admitted possessing a loaded handgun and Graham to having a pistol and ammunition.

BBC, 25 January 2006

Chief Inspector John Buttress of Greater Manchester Police will be honoured for bravery after arresting a man armed with a gun in Stockport on Christmas Day 2004.  The man was later jailed for possession of an imitation firearm.

ic South London, 24 January 2006

A gunman fired at an unarmed police officer during a late-night chase in Dulwich.  Police had pulled over the man's car and he fled on foot.  He pulled a gun and opened fire at least three times when the officer cornered him in an alleyway.  The policeman was unharmed.  The gunman has not been traced.

24dash.com, 24 January 2006

Gangs of youths have caused more than £9,000 worth of damage to a man's home in Carlisle, including smashing four sets of double-glazed windows.  The most recent breakage was caused by a ball-bearing gun.

Evening Gazette & Echo, 23 January 2006

Two Southend boys have each lost an eye in airgun accidents within a month  A consultant ophthalmologist at Southend Hospital said that the boys were treated in the eye unit after pellets lodged in or near their eyes.

BBC, 23 January 2006

Six men were jailed over the killing of a teenager who was shot in the back of his head with a shotgun in Wythenshawe in July 2004 (see Incidents).  The gang involved thought they had shot a friend of the victim.  Raphael Smith was sentenced to life imprisonment after admitting murder.  Daniel Jacobs, Les Brown, Mark Palfreyman, Rocky Burke and Neil Bergin were given sentences of 14 years, 10 years, 18 years, 18 months and 5 years respectively.  Hayley Smirk pleaded guilty to possessing a prohibited weapon: the gun was found at her house when a man shot himself in the foot.

BBC, 23 January 2006

Thirteen staff at a supermarket in Chipping Norton were held hostage by four men, one with a sawn-off shotgun.  The balaclava-clad men were waiting as staff arrived for work and stole cash from a safe after forcing a woman to unlock it.

BBC, 22 January 2006

A masked gunman shot a man in the chest on the doorstep of a house in Parson's Green, Sheffield.  The victim was taken to hospital where his condition was described as poorly but stable.  The gunman and an accomplice escaped on foot.

BBC, 21 January 2006

A man was shot in the car park of a cinema in Lenton, Nottingham.  He was taken to hospital where his condition was described as "stable".

BBC, 21 January 2006

A man was shot in the arm after he tried to stop two men from robbing him in the street in Blackheath, south east London.  He was shot when he refused the men's demands for jewellery.

Sutton Guardian, 19 January 2006

A postman was shot in the buttock with what is believed to have been an air rifle as he was riding his bike in Carshalton.  Four youths in a car shot at him.  The victim suffered bruising.

BBC, 19 January 2006

A gunman is being hunted after shots were fired at a residential property in High Green, Sheffield.  The occupants of the house were shaken but not injured.

BBC, 19 January 2006 *

Robert Firkins and Lee Firkins have both been jailed for life after being found guilty of murdering a couple in their own home near Wadebridge, Cornwall, in November 2003 (see Incidents).  The victims were each shot three times with a shotgun and beaten with a sledgehammer.  The men have lost their appeal against their convictions (BBC, 17 December 2008).

ic Surrey, 18 January 2006

A young man was robbed of his wallet containing credit cards and £60 in cash when he was attacked by two men in East Grinstead, one of whom held what was described as a BB gun to his head.

ic Surrey, 18 January 2006

Abdul Rehman has been jailed for two years after carrying an imitation firearm, a cigarette lighter, in Crawley as he looked for someone he claimed had assaulted him.  He pleaded guilty of possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.

East London Advertiser, 18 January 2006

A double-barrelled pistol, disguised as a matchbox size keyring, was found at the flat of Charles Yeboah, after he was arrested in Homerton in connection with a number of car-jackings.  Also recovered was a ball-bearing-firing replica pistol.  Yeboah was jailed for six-and-a-half years after admitting firearm and drug offences.

ic South London, 17 January 2006

Teams from the Metropolitan Police's automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) teams have clinched a string of results in the fight against gun crime in Southwark.

Eastern Daily Press, 17 January 2006

A sniper was blamed for causing thousands of pounds worth of damage to floodlights at Wroxham football club's ground.  People with houses backing onto the ground have reported hearing the sound of gunfire on two occasions.

BBC, 17 January 2006

The body of a man was discovered in the garden of a house in Tintinhull, Somerset.  A shotgun was also recovered and the police say that they "are satisfied that there are no suspicious circumstances".

This is Lancashire, 16 January 2006 *

A businessman has said that he will not be deterred from opening a children's home in Hoddlesden after the site was damaged in a pellet gun attack.

BBC, 15 January 2006

The body of a man who had been shot was found in an alleyway in Ladbroke Grove, west London.  Police were keeping an open mind about the circumstances surrounding the death and are appealing for witnesses.  Four men are being questioned by police (Willesden & Brent Times, 18 January 2006).

Life Style Extra, 13 January 2006 *

A 21-year-old was shot dead in Streatham by a gang who mugged his friends of their mobile phones as he lay dying.  One gang member pulled a handgun and shot the victim in the upper body: he was dead when police arrived.  A 20-year-old was being questioned by police.  Three men who are on trial have all denied murder and three counts of robbery (ic Croydon, 29 December 2006).  One man has been jailed for murder and another for manslaughter (see March 2007 Incidents).

BBC, 13 January 2006

Keith Wickers admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent following the shooting of a man in Careys Field, Smallfield, Surrey, in December 2004.  The victim was shot twice in the legs.  Wickers was jailed for nine years.

BBC, 13 January 2006

Armed police raided a house in Sale in the hunt for clues linking a gun to the murder of a criminal at his home in Stretford in March 2004 (see Incidents).

BBC, 13 January 2006

Michael Millcroft and his wife Anita Mansfield were jailed for life and were told they would serve a minimum of 25 years and 30 years, respectively, before they would be considered for release.  They were convicted of murdering two women by shooting them with a shotgun at a house in Hockliffe, Bedfordshire, in February 2005 (see Incidents).  One of the victims had fostered Millcroft and he had lived with her and her late husband into adulthood.  The murder had been committed with the intention of raising £800,000 on fraudulent life insurance policies.

ic South London, 12 January 2006

Simon Dunn, who held up a security guard at a bank in Wimbledon and then stole a vehicle at gunpoint from a member of the public in September 2005, was sentenced to 15 years jail after pleading guilty.  He had been in possession of a loaded handgun.

Cambridge Evening News, 12 January 2006

A 16-year-old boy was given an eight-month referral order for shooting a 13-year-old girl with an air rifle in a car park in Haverhill.  The girl was hit on the arm and suffered a small puncture wound.

ic Surrey, 11 January 2006

Stephen Sharp, Maria Smale and Abigale Godley were sentenced to five, seven and seven years respectively for their involvement in an armed robbery on a Reigate off-licence in February 2005.  They stole about £300 in cash, cigarettes and phone cards.  Smale had borrowed the silver airgun with which the gang were armed from his wife.  He and Godley were sentenced to three years for possession of a firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence.

This is Lancashire, 10 January 2006

Two armed men burst into a fast food restaurant in Bolton shortly before Christmas.  One of the robbers held a pistol to the head of a restaurant worker and threatened to kill him unless the safe was opened.  No one was injured but the staff were left shaken.  About £1000 was stolen.

BBC, 10 January 2006

A silver gun (a modified starting pistol) and a hand grenade were found dumped in a plastic bag by workers at a waste depot in Wimborne.

South Yorkshire Police, 9 January 2006

A wine merchants in Crosspool, Sheffield, was robbed by a man who threatened a female member of staff with what appeared to be a firearm.  Just over half an hour later a second off licence was robbed and a male member of staff threatened with what appeared to be a firearm.

BBC, 8 January 2006

A nightclub doorman was injured when he was shot by a gunman wearing a horror mask in Southsea.  The victim was being guarded by police as he awaited surgery in hospital.

Evening News (Edinburgh), 7 January 2006

A security officer at Reading Crown Court spotted a man taking a gun-shaped lighter out of a bag on CCTV and raised the alarm.  Firearms police swooped on the building and a number of people were trapped inside a courtroom for an hour.

Yorkshire Post, 6 January 2006

A college lecturer was found dead from a shotgun wound in the garden of his home in Ardsley.  Police say there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death and they are not seeking anyone else in connection with the investigation.

Huddersfield Daily Examiner, 6 January 2006

Armed raiders escaped with cash from a security guard in a raid at a petrol station in Birchencliffe, Huddersfield.  One of the two masked men was brandishing a handgun.

BBC, 6 January 2006

Robbers wearing surgical masks raided a bookmakers in Burton-on-Trent and stole several hundred pounds.  Although no weapons were seen the robbers told staff they had guns.

BBC, 6 January 2006

A 14-year-old boy is recovering from surgery after being shot in the eye with an airgun pellet in Waterlooville.  He and another boy were walking along the street when they heard youths talking, and his friend turned to find blood pouring from the victim's eye.  A youth, held by police, has been bailed and an air rifle found in the town centre has been handed in by a member of the public (BBC, 11 January 2006).

BBC, 6 January 2006

Post office staff in Chorley were threatened by a man armed with a handgun during a raid in which the robber made off with an undisclosed amount of cash.

BBC, 6 January 2006

A group of masked men escaped with a large amount of cash following a raid at a supermarket in Coventry.  Members of staff were threatened with a gun.

Telegraph, 5 January 2006

A verdict of unlawful killing was recorded by the coroner at the inquest into the death of a 20-year-old man who was shot five times in the head in Brixton in June 2004.  Three members of a rival gang were cleared in September 2005 of conspiracy to murder when the prosecution offered no evidence.

Evening Chronicle (Newcastle), 5 January 2006

Two men tried to rob a takeaway in Sunderland.  They entered the shop, pulled out a gun and demanded money from the staff.  No cash was handed over and the men ran off empty-handed.

Bromsgrove Standard, 5 January 2006

Robert Mohid and Jason Mahoney were sentenced to 12 years and 10 years, respectively, for armed robbery and given the same length sentences for possession of an imitation firearm, the terms to run concurrently.  The convictions related to an armed robbery committed at a post office in Blackwell in October 2004.  The staff had been threatened by the men brandishing a handgun and a sledgehammer.

BBC, 5 January 2006

Two gunmen shot at two women in a street in Battersea shortly after they had been dropped off by a minicab.  Neither of the women was injured and the police say they do not know why they were targeted.

BBC, 5 January 2006

Three men with a gun threatened a woman in Timperley, Greater Manchester, before stealing her car.  The car later collided with an armed response vehicle before the gang drove away.

South Yorkshire Police, 4 January 2006

Four men, Adrian Jorgenson, Darren Petch, Wayne Osbourn and Jonathan Pratt, received sentences of 7 and 8 years imprisonment for their involvement in the kidnapping of a man from the Woodlands area of Doncaster in January 2005.  They were convicted of kidnap, blackmail, assault, false imprisonment and possession of a firearm.

BBC, 4 January 2006

Two men, armed with what appeared to be a handgun, stole cash from the till of a newsagents in Middleton Cheney, Northamptonshire.

BBC, 4 January 2006

Four people are being questioned by police investigating the kidnap at gunpoint of a man at Coulsdon South station.  The victim was threatened and bundled into a white van by three men in balaclavas.  He was released the next day.

Shropshire Star, 3 January 2006 *

A man armed with a shotgun burst into a post office in Broseley and robbed the staff at gunpoint.  Police have released an e-fit of the robber.  Detectives believe that the gunman may be from Birmingham (Birmingham Mail, 13 April 2006).

BBC, 3 January 2006

A 17-year-old boy was injured when shots were fired into a house in the Benchill area of Manchester.  A man has been charged with attempted murder and firearms offences.

BBC, 2 January 2006

Two men, both aged 19, were seriously wounded in a shooting outside a nightclub in Hackney.  One of the victims later died from his wounds in hospital: police are looking for two suspects (BBC, 3 January 2006).  An 18-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder and attempted murder (Black UK Online, 12 January 2006).

BBC, 1 January 2006

During a night of violence in Grimsby police officers were shot at with an airgun on the Nunsthorpe estate.  Officers investigating reports of a stolen car were fired at from surrounding houses as they arrived on the estate.


SCOTLAND

ic Dumfries, 31 December 2006

A man was recovering in hospital after he was shot in the hand by a masked gunman outside a pub in the Springburn area of Glasgow.

Daily Record, 23 December 2006

A bus driver has described how his glasses saved him from serious injury when his windscreen was shattered by an airgun pellet as he drove his bus along a quiet road in Elgin.  Fortunately he was going slowly so was able to steer his bus safely to the side of the road.

Shetland News, 19 December 2006

Anthony Leigh Allport was arrested for driving home with a loaded air pistol (a gas cartridge ball bearing pistol, described by the Procurator Fiscal as a menacing weapon and identical to a 9mm Browning pistol) in his car in Lerwick in July 2006.  He claimed he did not realise he was breaking the law, but the sheriff found he had no reasonable excuse for having the gun in a public place.  The gun was confiscated.

BBC, 14 December 2006

A rifle, ammunition, telescopic sight and silencer have been stolen from a locked farm outbuilding near Elgin.  An air rifle and pellets were also stolen.

BBC, 7 December 2006

A masked man who robbed a restaurant in Forres was armed with what appeared to be a handgun.  He threatened a female staff member before escaping with a sum of money.

BBC, 6 December 2006 *

One man has died in a triple shooting in Lambhill, Glasgow.  The two other victims were in a serious condition in hospital.  Police were looking for two men who entered an MOT centre where the shooting took place.  Police indicated that the shooting was pre-planned and may be something to do with a wider "criminal ongoing feud".  One of two men shot in Auchinairn, near Glasgow, in November 2006 has now been arrested by police officers probing what have been described as tit-for-tat shootings (Sunday Mail, 17 December 2006).  Two men have received minimum jail sentences of thirty five years for murder and attempted murder (see May 2008 Incidents).

BBC, 5 December 2006

Brian McIntosh was caught with a cache of guns and ammunition at his home at Greenheads Cottage, Aberdeenshire, in July 2004.  Police discovered part of weapons suitable for use in an AK47 assault rifle, three stun guns and more that 1,000 banned bullets which expand on impact.  He pleaded guilty to firearms charges.  He told police he liked to collect "illegal" things.

BBC, 5 December 2006

A man in an ice cream van was shot in an attack in Penicuik.  He is in a critical condition in hospital.  The victim had just served a group of teenagers when the shooting occurred.  It is believed that a lone gunman armed with a shotgun is responsible.  Police say they are following a positive line of inquiry and are looking into possible links to an alleged assault on the victim's son around a month earlier.  Three suspects, who are said to have a grievance against the victim, have been questioned (Edinburgh Evening News, 14 December 2006).

Scotsman, 29 November 2006

A pub in Banff was raided by a hooded gunman who took a four-figure sum of money before fleeing by car, possibly driven by an accomplice.  A man was arrested in connection with the hold-up in Great Yarmouth by about 15 plain-clothed police officers from Norfolk's specialist firearms unit (Eastern Daily Press, 30 November 2006).

BBC, 28 November 2006

A woman who claimed that a gunman forced her to reverse her car and caused her to crash on the Melrose bypass has had her story dismissed as untrue.

Daily Record, 25 November 2006

Police constable Chris Kenny has picked up his fourth bravery award in three years for disarming a man with an air rifle in Lochgelly, Fife, in September 2005 (see January 2006 Incidents).  When the gunman emerged from his flat he grabbed the barrel of the rifle and wrestled the man to the floor before he could open fire.

BBC, 23 November 2006

Two boys, both aged 13, have been charged after an 11-year-old boy was shot in the face in Cullen with a BB replica handgun.  The victim escaped serious injury.

BBC, 23 November 2006

Two men made off with a four-figure sum from a bank in the centre of Glasgow.  They were armed with what appeared to be firearms.  No firearm was discharged and no-one was injured.

Evening News, 22 November 2006

Andrew Craig, 19, terrified office staff when he carried a loaded airgun through Edinburgh city centre in November 2005.  He had pulled the replica gas-powered gun out of a carrier bag.  The gun had been bought earlier in the day from a toy shop and was ready to fire.  He has been told to carry out 240 hours of community service after admitting a breach of the peace and possessing a gun in public without lawful reason.

ic Renfrewshire, 21 November 2006

Stewart Goldthorpe, 18, was branded a "stupid idiot" after he had caused a scare when shooting tin cans and bottles with an air rifle for target practice in the playground of a school in Johnstone.  The alarm was raided as he walked home with the air rifle.  He pleaded guilty to being in possession of the .22 air rifle and ammunition in the school grounds without authority or lawful excuse.  Sentence was deferred for nine months and Goldthorpe was ordered to be of good behaviour.

BBC, 17 November 2006

A man was in a critical condition in hospital after a shooting in Auchinairn, near Glasgow.  A second man was also injured in the drive-by shooting and a dog was shot dead.  The victims sustained stomach and leg injuries, respectively.  They were talking in the street at the time of the shooting.

Evening News, 17 November 2006

A masked robber threatened two female staff members at a sub-post office in the Deans area of Livingston with a gun.  He made off with more than £10000. 

Mirror, 15 November 2006

In August 2006 Steven Cahill terrorised his elderly neighbour after smashing her way in through the loft of her house in Newarthill, Lanarkshire, where he bound and gagged her.  He was armed with an airgun.  He robbed her of a bank card, wallet, money and cigarettes and withdrew £300 from her account.  Cahill admitted housebreaking and robbery.  Sentence was deferred.

ic Renfrewshire, 15 November 2006

Police are hunting the person who shot at a heavily-pregnant woman with an airgun as she drove along a busy road in Barrhead.  She heard a bang at the rear of her car as a window smashed, sending splinters of glass into the vehicle.

Scotsman, 14 November 2006

Robert Silvestro was ordered to carry out 300 hours of community service after he admitted discharging recklessly a pistol loaded with pellets in an incident in which he used an airgun to fire pellets into his partner's head and chest after arriving home in Airdrie.  He had been at a drunken party in January 2006.  The couple married seven months later and the whole incident was described as completely out of character.

ic Lanarkshire, 14 November 2006

Armed robbers escaped with thousands of pounds in cash after they held up security guards with what appeared to be a semi-automatic handgun at a service station near Falkirk.  The security guards were about to load a cash machine.

Evening Times, 14 November 2006

A female worker in a mini supermarket in Bellshill was attacked when a gunman burst into the shop.  The robber fled with cash from the till.  The gun wasn't fired during the robbery.

Daily Record, 14 November 2006

A 15-year-old admitted a reduced charge of culpable and reckless discharge of an air rifle (the original charge was attempted murder) after a six-year-old boy was shot in the head in Muirhouse, Edinburgh in April 2005 (see Incidents).  He was placed on probation for three years.  The judge had been told that if he was locked up he would never achieve his ambition to become a soldier and had read a "glowing" report from the commanding officer of the youth's cadet detachment.  (This updates and replaces an entry originally posted in September 2006).

Evening News, 10 November 2006

A masked gunman threatened a shopkeeper with a pistol during a botched robbery at a newsagent in Corstorphine, Edinburgh.  The suspect eventually fled empty handed.

BBC, 10 November 2006

James McCann of Glasgow has been jailed for seven year for storing firearms.  He admitted possessing the gun, a silencer, revolver and ammunition after the cache was found by police during a search of two homes in Glasgow in June 2006.

ic Renfrewshire, 9 November 2006

Armed police marksmen who stormed a house in Johnstone in January 2006 found Stephen Comerford sitting with a gun in his mouth threatening to pull the trigger.  Officers used a stun gun to make sure Comerford didn't harm anyone after a three hour stand off.  He pleaded guilty to conducting himself in a disorderly manner, shouting, swearing, brandishing a firearm and committing a breach of the peace.  The handgun was powered by a gas capsule.  Comerford was said by his lawyer to be someone who struggled with all aspects of social interaction.  He was placed on probation for 18 months.

BBC, 9 November 2006

A man was shot in an attack in Bellshill, North Lanarkshire.  His condition was described as stable.

BBC, 7 November 2006

A family was left terrified after Derek Farmer, who was drunk and armed with a paintball gun, took pot-shots at them as they were driving along a street in the centre of Paisley.  The family heard a missile strike their car and when they glanced up at the flat overlooking them saw a man holding what they believed was an air rifle.  Farmer was aiming the gun at the street below.  He pleaded guilty to conducting himself in a disorderly manner by discharging a paintball gun and causing the occupants of a passing vehicle in a state of fear and alarm.  He was fined £500.

BBC, 3 November 2006

Footballer Lee Wallace has been fined £1500 after admitting possessing a loaded airgun in Sighthill Green, Edinburgh (see August 2006 Incidents).

ic Renfrewshire, 1 November 2006 *

A man had to be rushed for hospital after he was shot in the head as he cycled along a street in Paisley.  It is thought that those responsible hid in nearby flats and then opened fire on their victim with an airgun.

ic Perthshire, 27 October 2006

The power capacity of a ball-bearing gun will be debated before David Laing and Greg Stout are sentenced after each admitted two counts of firing the weapon at four passers-by in Perth on two separate occasions in December 2005 (see also September 2006 Incidents).  The Court heard the weapon described as a "toy" in an attempt to dissuade the Sheriff from imposing a custodial sentence.

BBC, 25 October 2006

A primary schoolboy from Cruden Bay, who was injured in August, has had an airgun pellet lodged in his neck for several weeks after hospital staff failed to spot it.  The pellet has only just been found and is expected to be removed this week.  A 12-year-old boy has been charged with the original incident, which occurred as the victim was going down a lane, and a report sent to the children's reporter.

ic Scotland, 24 October 2006

A teenage boy was found dead from a gunshot wound in an upstairs bedroom at a house at Lochbroom, Wester Ross.  There do not appear to be any suspicious circumstances.  The death has been described by his parents as an accident (BBC, 25 October 2006).

BBC, 23 October 2006

A man was in a stable condition in hospital with a gunshot wound after an attempt was made on his life in Cranhill, Glasgow.  He was shot in the leg and also suffered a cut to his head.

Selkirk Today, 20 October 2006

Two police officers, Constable Graeme Shepherd and Sergeant Helen Birrell, have been honoured for bravery after their arrest of a man in Bannerfield, Selkirk, in March 2005.  The two had gone to the man's house and found him with a gun which had been pointed at them.  The weapon turned out to be a pellet gun.

Daily Record, 20 October 2006

A man who managed to carry a stun gun in his hand luggage through two airports (in Bangkok and Amsterdam) was arrested after firing it in a pub in Aberdeen in January 2006.  John Christie was fined £900 and was described by his defence counsel as "a silly man" not a terrorist.

BBC, 20 October 2006

Police used a Taser stun gun during a disturbance in a house in Tollcross, Glasgow.  A man was taken to hospital and taken into custody after treatment.

Herald, 13 October 2006

A leading figure in the Scottish entertainment industry was being treated in hospital after being shot outside his home in Clarkston, Glasgow.  He received at least one bullet wound to a leg during the attack.

BBC, 13 October 2006

A man has appeared in court accused of firing an air rifle at another man near his home in Lochmaben.  The victim was hit on the head with a pellet.

Evening Times, 4 October 2006

A man was robbed at gunpoint as he sat watching TV at home in Giffnock.  The gang of four raiders burst into his house, assaulted the man and ransacked the property escaping with several thousands of pounds.

Evening News, 4 October 2006

Scott Martin, 20, carried out a drive-by shooting with an air pistol after an argument in a pub in Edinburgh in December 2005.  Four people were forced to dive into bushes for cover when they were fired on by Martin.  The A71 in Currie was closed for half an hour as a result.  Martin pleaded guilty to "culpably and recklessly" firing the air pistol and was ordered to perform 240 hours of community service.

BBC, 2 October 2006 *

In May 2006 (see Incidents) Brian Cooney held up an off-licence in Dundee armed with an imitation handgun he had stolen from his friend's son.  He then attempted to rob another outlet in the city.  He was stopped by police after being recognised from CCTV footage.  Cooney admitted stealing an imitation firearm and two charges of possessing an imitation firearm as well as admitting assault and robbery.  Cooney has been jailed for six years (BBC, 31 October 2006).

ic Scotland, 29 September 2006 *

A man has been abducted at gunpoint from his home in Glasgow.  Police are concerned about his health as he is a diabetic and has been fasting in observance of Ramadan.  A number of people who know the victim have raised doubts about whether he was the real target of the abduction (Evening Times, 3 October 2006).  The man was eventually found by police in Manchester three weeks later.  The gang responsible for the 25-day kidnapping were jailed for up to twelve and a half years after pleading guilty.  The two men, Darren Wright and Peter Haining, who carried out the abduction had been armed with a Russian-made Baikal .38 automatic guns fitted with silencers (Guardian, 27 June 2007).

ic Perthshire, 26 September 2006

Kerrin Wishart, 17, appeared in court accused of taking a pot-shot with an air rifle at a CCTV camera in a Perth supermarket.  He is also alleged to have walked around the store with the air rifle, and further counts of having the air rifle in his possession without reasonable excuse and having the loaded weapon on a cycle path.

Daily Record, 26 September 2006

Alexander Leverage, a former soldier, was jailed for nine years after firing a shotgun during at attempted robbery in a supermarket in Balornock, Glasgow, in April 2006 (see Incidents).  He had brandished a shotgun at staff and shoppers and discharged the weapon as he demanded tills be opened and money handed over.

BBC, 21 September 2006

A pupil has been excluded from a school in Aberdeen after fellow pupils were shot with a ball bearing gun.  One child is believed to have been hit in the face and another was shot in the chest.  A report will be submitted to the procurator fiscal. Two boys have now been charged (BBC, 26 & 27 September 2006)

Kirkintilloch Today, 19 September 2006

Police have issued a warning after receiving a number of reports of young people carrying guns in East Dunbartonshire.  In the last two months there were five reports.  Replica guns have been recovered, but a spokesman said "When officers attend firearms incidents it may be that they are facing a handgun, a replica weapon or a toy gun.  The reality is that it is almost impossible to determine what they are encountering".

Edinburgh Evening News, 15 September 2006

Christopher Wright, who was accused of terrorising teenagers with an air pistol in Penicuik, has been cleared because he is epileptic.  He had been alleged to have held the pistol to the head of one boy and then threatened a girl by pointing the pistol at her.

Scotsman, 14 September 2006 *

David Laing and Greg Stout laughed as they took potshots with an airgun from their car in Perth, a court has heard.  Eventually they were pursued by one of their victims who drove after them in his car and then trapped them until police arrived.  Four people were hit by airgun pellets during sprees in December 2005 and January 2006.  Both admitted assaulting victims by shooting then or at them.  Sentencing has been deferred.  (See also October 2006 Incidents)

Daily Record, 12 September 2006

A security guard was shot in the head with an air rifle by a gunman whilst he was providing security on a vehicle depot in Polmadie, Glasgow.  The victim is facing surgery to have a pellet removed from his skull.

Scotsman, 8 September 2006 *

Michael Loran has pleaded guilty to culpable homicide following an incident in which a friend died from a shot in the heart when Loran fired an air rifle at the wall of his living room in East Calder in April 2006 (see Incidents).  At the time both men had a blood alcohol level three-and-a-half times the legal limit for drivers.  The gun had been acquired by Loran's son about a year before the shooting (BBC, 7 September 2006).  Loran has been given a four year jail sentence (Scotsman, 28 October 2006).

BBC, 8 September 2006

Gerald McFarlane threatened to shoot a volunteer working in a soup kitchen in Edinburgh in June 2006.  McFarlane was a regular user of the soup kitchen.  He told the man that he would kill him before opening up his jacket to reveal a gun in an inside pocket.  The weapon was an imitation firearm and was recovered by police.  McFarlane has been jailed for six months after pleading guilty to committing a breach of the peace.

BBC, 7 September 2006

A man was shot on a street in the east end of Glasgow.  He was taken to hospital for treatment and his injuries were not said to be life threatening.

BBC, 6 September 2006

Lee Wallace has admitted having a loaded airgun in the back of a friend's car while driving around a car park in Sighthill, Edinburgh in August 2006 (see Incidents)  He pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of possessing an air weapon.  Sentencing was deferred (Scotsman, 7 September 2006).

Peterborough Today, 5 September 2006

A man who was part of an organised duck shoot shot himself in the face with his own shotgun near Fraserburgh.  It is believed that he was struck in the face by a blast of shot killing him instantly.  The incident has been described as a freak shooting accident.

Evening Telegraph and Post, 29 August 2006

Two men held up a hotel on the outskirts of Dundee.  They burst into the hotel brandishing a firearm at two members of staff before fleeing with a small sum of money.  A link to an earlier raid on a Dundee pub (see below) has not been ruled out by police.  One man has been found guilty and another pleaded guilty for their involvement in the robbery.

Herald, 24 August 2006

An 11-month-old baby was hit in the face with an airgun pellet fired through the first-floor window of his home in Uddingston.  He was hit between the eyes.  His mother was with him was the time.  Police and medics said he could have been killed if the pellet had not first ricocheted taking some speed out of the shot.  An 11-year-old boy has been reported to the children's panel.

Daily Record, 22 August 2006

A man charged with unlawful possession of a firearm appeared in court after being arrested at Glasgow airport.  It is alleged that he was in possession of an air pistol, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse.

BBC, 21 August 2006 *

Police have launched a major hunt for two men who staged an armed robbery at a pub in Dundee.  The robbers entered the pub before pointing a firearm at staff and demanding money.  A 'significant' amount of cash was taken (see February 2007 Incidents).

BBC, 18 August 2006

A 16-year-old youth has appeared in court charged with shooting a toddler in the head.  The youth has been accused of culpably and recklessly firing a pellet gun and striking the two-year-old boy at his home in Irvine.

BBC, 17 August 2006

A 20-year-old man was shot through the window of his home in Castlemilk, Glasgow.  He was taken to hospital but died a short time later.  Two men were seen in the area at the time of the shooting.  The man's father had been the victim of a murder bid a year ago when he was shot in Castlemilk: his injuries were not life threatening.  Three men face life sentences for the murder and a fourth man was convicted of culpable homicide (see July 2007 Incidents).

Scotsman, 16 August 2006

A man who had undergone electroshock therapy shot himself in the head with a shotgun he hired from a clay-pigeon shooting range in Kirkcaldy in November 2004.  He completed a form to declare himself fit.  The police had seized his weapons because doctors alerted them that he was suffering from depression and at risk of suicide.  His wife wanted to know why legislation did not exist to stop individuals who had been stripped of firearms licences from hiring guns.  The fatal accident inquiry continues.  See also Personal Accounts of Incidents.

BBC, 16 August 2006

David Laing and Greg Stout admitted driving around Perth in December 2005 and January 2006 taking potshots at strangers with an airgun.  The pair had shot four men.  Sentence was deferred.

Evening Times, 15 August 2006

Two 14-year-old boys have been charged after a gun alert in the car park of a supermarket in Bearsden.  The police helicopter, an armed response unit and two dog teams were all scrambled after witnesses saw youths leaving the store carrying a gun and getting into a car.  Police confirmed that a gun had been recovered.

Evening News, 14 August 2006 *

A young footballer has been forced to apologise after he was caught by police with a gas-powered handgun in his car.  He admitted being the owner of the pistol.  It is alleged he had been brandishing the weapon and waving it around in a dangerous manner in the Sighthill area of Edinburgh.  He appeared in court charged with being in possession of a loaded firearm (BBC, 31 August 2006) but pleaded guilty to possessing an air weapon (see September 2006 Incidents).  He has been fined £1500 (see November 2006 Incidents).

Evening News, 9 August 2006

Stuart Glen has been jailed for 12 months after firing an air rifle outside a friend's house in Newtongrange.  He was "very much under the influence of drink" at the time.

BBC, 8 August 2006

Firefighters were attacked with an airgun while responding to an incident in Dundee.  Their engine was struck by several pellets.  A youth has been detained by police.

BBC, 7 August 2006

An elderly couple were attacked by a gunman in their home in Hyndland, Glasgow.  The woman answered a knock at the door and was confronted by a man brandishing a handgun.  She was able to force the door closed.

Daily Record, 4 August 2006

David Talbot became irritated when a woman took a long time to use a public phone in Bellshill in October 2005 and punched her on the forehead.  His friend Craig Shovlin then appeared with an air rifle which he fired, hitting the woman on the arm and causing a puncture wound.  Both men admitted their part in the incident and will be sentenced later in the month.

Scotsman, 2 August 2006

A gun alert was sparked after violence broke out between gangs of travellers in Fife.  Police said that there had been talk of firearms, possibly shotguns, but no guns were found when an armed response team arrived.

Scotsman, 2 August 2006

James Duncan, 18, who fired his airgun and hit a man carrying a four-month-old baby, was given 80 hours of community service after admitting the shooting which took place in Aberdeen.  He had been shooting the gun out of his bedroom window.

Daily Record, 1 August 2006 *

A woman police officer was wounded in the leg when Peter King fired a gas-powered ball-bearing gun at her as she cycled with husband in north Fife in June 2005.  The pellet has been embedded in her leg for more than a year since the incident.  King admitted firing the gun.  Although he was told that he may end up with a prison sentence he was put on probation for three years and ordered to do 180 hours of community service (Daily Record, 21 September 2006).

Sunday Mail, 30 July 2006

The owner of a bar in Glasgow was shot by a gunman in his pub.  He was treated for injuries to his buttocks in hospital.  The victim says he has no idea why he was attacked.

Evening Times, 28 July 2006

Stephen Hay dropped a rucksack when he was found in premises at an industrial estate in Bellshill as he prowled around looking for metal to steal.  The bag contained a blank-firing replica gun which had been adapted to fire ball bearings.  He admitted being in illegal possession of the handgun in March 2006 and was jailed for five years.

Evening Times, 20 July 2006

Allan Mitchell attempted to hold up a bank in Trongate, Glasgow, because he owed money to drug barons.  He used a toy gun belonging to his son and ordered a teller to the safe.  He grabbed £136,000 but dropped money and revealed his face and fled on foot.  He was chased and caught by a motorist.  He admitted assaulting three staff by presenting an imitation firearm at them and other charges.  He was jailed for five and a half years.

Scotsman, 15 July 2006

Derek Burns was jailed for five years for possession of a revolver after police stopped his car in Glasgow and found the gun wrapped in cloth under the front passenger seat.  His passenger, Hugh Todd, was jailed for two years after admitting having ten live 9 mm bullets in a pillowcase at his home in Barrhead.

BBC, 14 July 2006

Dumfries and Galloway police have issued a warning about the dangers of airguns after a string of attacks in the region.  People have been hit in the face and body by ball bearings from BB guns while animals have been struck with other air weapons.

BBC, 14 July 2006

A gun was fired at the window of a house in Springburn, Glasgow.  Three adults were in the house but no-one was injured.

Evening News (Edinburgh), 12 July 2006

Sainsbury's and Asda have banned home deliveries by their online shopping services to a large area of Edinburgh because of a number of attacks against delivery drivers including one in which youths with an air rifle took three shots at a van in Wester Hailes (BBC, 14 July 2006).

BBC, 12 July 2006

Thieves stole 2,000 shotgun cartridges and cash after breaking into a gun club in Gorebridge, Midlothian.

BBC, 11 July 2006

John White, 17, has admitted shooting a 10-year-old boy with a BB gun after he had shouted abuse at him in a Perth street in May 2006.  Sentencing was deferred.

BBC, 11 July 2006

A man was in critical condition after he was shot twice in the stomach on a street in Germiston, Glasgow.

Scotsman, 27 June 2006

Wesley Parke, an RAF serviceman, tried to rob a bank at gunpoint because he was heavily in debt.  He walked into the bank in Rothes and pointed a pellet gun at a bank worker and ordered her to hand over £5,000.  He fled after the worker pressed the panic button.  Parke was given a three year jail sentence.

Evening Times, 27 June 2006

A taxi boss and his family survived an ordeal when a gunman fired shots at their home in Newlands, Glasgow.  Their Range Rover was hit by a shotgun.  Shots had been fired through security gates.

Daily Record, 21 June 2006

Arthur Tait was jailed for six years after terrorising his former partner and her teenage son.  He burst into her home in Maybole and brutally assaulted her and held an airgun to her son's head.

Evening Times, 19 June 2006

Detectives were hunting a hooded gunman who shot two men in a late night attack at a kebab shop in Blairdardie, Glasgow.  Both victims were recovering in hospital.  The shootings were being treated as attempted murder.

Herald, 16 June 2006

Two men and a woman are expected to appear in court in connection with a shooting incident in Ayr in which a man suffered gunshot wounds.  Armed police surrounded a house after reports that a man with a rifle was inside.

BBC, 15 June 2006

Two people in a park in Mountcastle, Edinburgh, were approached by a man who pointed what appeared to be a rifle at them.  Armed officers searched the park but there was no trace of the man.

BBC, 15 June 2006

James Sneddon was on licence from a prison sentence for assault and robbery when he pulled a shotgun on two police constables in Cumbernauld in January 2006.  He was jailed for six years and nine months after admitting assault.

Evening News (Edinburgh), 14 June 2006

A 15-year-old boy brandishing a handgun sparked a major armed response in the centre of Edinburgh.  The boy was found to be in possession of a BB gun and was later charged with breach of the peace.

Raging Bike, 13 June 2006

A cyclist described how he was asked the time by a boy whilst he was cycling at the back of Duddingston golf course.  As he slowed the boy's friend appeared and opened fire with an air rifle.  The cyclist was hit in the arm but managed to stay on his bike.

Evening News (Edinburgh), 12 June 2006

A shopkeeper had a handgun pointed towards his face as a man forced him to hand over cash from the till of his newsagents in Craigentinny.  The robber got away with £90.  Earlier a nearby newsagent had called police to report a suspicious man hanging around outside.

Sunday Mail, 11 June 2006

A young mother was shot with an airgun as she sunbathed in her back garden in Stevenston, Ayrshire, with her four-month-old son.  The shot hit her on her arm.  A 15-year-old boy has been reported to the Children's Panel.

Selkirk Today, 9 June 2006

Murray Ballantyne was jailed for 14 months for illegal possession of a firearm and bullets.  His car was stopped in Cleland after a tip off and police found a Webley .455 handgun and 14 bullets.  Ballantyne had claimed he had found the weapon and ammunition in Armadale and intended to hand them to police. The Sheriff branded him a liar.

Daily Record, 8 June 2006

A Norwegian commando unit were held at gunpoint by police who thought they were terrorists.  The soldiers were on a training mission when a member of the public dialled 999 after spotting a van full of men with guns.  They were stopped on the M8 close to Glasgow Airport.

BBC, 6 June 2006 *

Scott Paton and Jamie Harrison will have to serve 20 years before being eligible for parole after being found guilty of murdering a man who was found shot dead in a garden in Wishaw in August 2005.  They were also found guilty of attempting to murder another man in the drive-by shooting.

Evening Times, 5 June 2006

A man was shot in a pub in the east end of Glasgow.  An airgun is thought to have been used.  His condition was not thought to be life-threatening.

BBC, 4 June 2006

A 15-year-old has been charged with firearms offences after allegedly threatening a teacher with a gun at a school in West Lothian.  The weapon is believed to have been a pellet gun.

Evening Times, 1 June 2006

Hugh Wilson of Alexandria was jailed for eight years after beating a boy with a pick-axe handle and belts.  He had earlier admitted committing six assaults on six different boys including shooting one on the leg with an air rifle.

ic Scotland, 31 May 2006

Part of a golf course at Elderslie, Renfrewshire, was sealed off after youngsters found a .22 air rifle wrapped in a black plastic bin bag in shrubbery.

Sunday Mail, 28 May 2006 *

Tayside Police have admitted that a gun found in a hotel in Dundee may have been left behind by firearms officers after a training exercise in 2005.  The gun was not capable of firing live ammunition.

BBC, 28 May 2006

A man was in a serious condition after being shot by police.  An armed response unit had been sent to the Mount Florida area of Glasgow following reports that a man with a pistol had held up a convenience store.  The man, who was known to the staff of the shop, put a gun to the chest of a member of staff.

Evening Times, 25 May 2006

Armed thieves held up a shop in the Gorbals area of Glasgow.  Two men threatened staff with what appeared to be a firearm and stole a three-figure sum as cash before escaping on mountain bikes.

BBC, 22 May 2006 *

A robber attacked an off-licence in Dundee and escaped with a three-figure sum of cash.  He entered the shop carrying a handgun.  A man has admitted a number of charges including possessing an imitation firearm (See October 2006 Incidents).

BBC, 17 May 2006 *

A security guard was shot in the stomach during an attempted robbery by two men in Kilmarnock.  The guard was walking into a bank at the time.  The robbers fled empty-handed.  A man has admitted attempted robbery (see February 2008 Incidents).

BBC, 15 May 2006

An elderly woman felt a sharp pain in her back as she walked along a road in Aberdeen.  The incident is being treated as the reckless discharge of an air weapon.

Evening News (Edinburgh), 11 May 2006

A woman had a gun held to her head at a homeless hostel in Leith.  One employee was threatened with what appeared to be a handgun.  Armed officers rushed to the hostel and arrested a man.  The weapon turned out to be a BB gun.

Evening News (Edinburgh), 10 May 2006

A man was due to appear in court after a sniper with an airgun took pot shots from a third floor window at people in a street in Leith.  The man had laid siege to the area for a number of hours, causing chaos for traffic and pedestrians.  A major alert was sparked after workers on a nearby building site reported being fired at.

BBC, 10 May 2006 *

James Sneddon has admitted assaulting two police officers by aiming a shotgun at them after they had stopped the car in which he and two others were travelling in Cumbernauld in January 2006.  He opened the passenger door of the car, produced a double-barrelled shotgun and told the officers to "get back".  At the time he was out on licence after serving a sentence for assault and robbery.  Sentencing was deferred.  He was given a seven year sentence and later given another 12 year sentence for a shooting in Cardonald, Glasgow, committed days after the police officers were threatened (see January 2009 Incidents).

BBC, 5 May 2006

Brian Martin has been jailed for 10 years after he fired a shotgun in a home in Kelty, Fife in August 2005 (see Incidents) whilst demanding money in a dispute over £7,500.  Martin was out on licence from a prison sentence for assault, robbery and firearms offences.

BBC, 2 May 2006

Three men have been arrested following separate incidents in Edinburgh involving replica guns within 12 hours.  One man has been charged after brandishing a toy handgun and machete.  Another man was arrested with a high-powered air pistol and the third man was found with a gas-powered BB gun.

BBC, 24 April 2006

William Campbell admitted recklessly discharging a firearm or imitation firearm while he was out on licence after an early release from jail.  He was jailed for a further 18 months for the offence.  He had fired the gun, which has never been traced, at a wake in a bar in Edinburgh.  A search uncovered a .177 ball, the sort used in gas-powered or air pistols.

Evening Times, 24 April 2006 *

Walter Semple died at a social club in Kirkintilloch where he'd reportedly gone with a shotgun to fire a warning shot at a gang rival.  Other drinkers at the club spotted the gun and wrestled him to the floor.  It is thought he may have then choked to death or suffered a broken neck.  A fatal accident inquiry is being held into his death (see September 2008 Incidents).

ic Scotland, 23 April 2006 *

A double shooting at a pub in Gracemount, Edinburgh, resulted in the death of one man and serious injury to another.  The gunman entered the bar and opened fire with a shotgun.  About three hours later police were called to a separate incident in nearby Gilmerton Dykes Avenue where a man was found with serious injuries.  Police have suggested that there may be a link between the two incidents (Evening Times, 24 April 2006).  Three men are on trial on charges relating to the death (BBC, 13 November 2006).  James Bain, who fired the shotgun, was sentenced to 22 years, Richard Cosgrove was given a minimum sentence of 20 years and Bernard Young who supplied the gun and was found guilty of murder and attempted murder had his minimum sentence cut from 19-and-a-half years to 17 years (see BBC, 16 April 2010).

BBC, 19 April 2006

A gun was fired at the door of a family home in Germiston, north Glasgow.  Police are treating the case as reckless conduct using a firearm.

BBC, 19 April 2006

Lee Reid admitted a number of charges, acting with another person, which included striking a man with a gun, firing a gun and possessing a firearm.   The charges related to an incident in which Reid and another man, both wearing camouflage clothing, attempted a robbery at the home of a couple in Kilmarnock in October 2005 (see Incidents).  He had been recognised as a friend of the couple's son and was arrested within hours.  Sentence was deferred.  Reid had provided another man's name, but there was insufficient evidence to link him with the attack, even though combat gear and imitation guns were found at his house.

BBC, 19 April 2006

A man was injured after a gunman opened fire on him in Cumbernauld.  The police are treating the incident as attempted murder.  He was shot through the glass panel of his front door (Evening Times, 20 April 2006).

Evening Times, 17 April 2006 *

A man was shot at close range with what was originally reported to be an airgun in Duntocher and died later in hospital.  The incident appears to have followed an incident in a pub earlier in the evening when something the victim said may have been taken the wrong way.  In court the weapon was revealed to have been a powerful hunting rifle.  An 18-year-old has been found guilty of murder and ordered to serve at least 17 years in prison (see January 2007 Incidents).

BBC, 14 April 2006

Two pedestrians were attacked with airguns in Inverness.  A man was hit by a pellet fired from a moving vehicle and another victim was hit ten minutes later .

Record, 13 April 2006

A schoolgirl was shot in the head with an airgun as she stood in a queue at an ice cream van in Coatbridge.  She was left with blood pouring down her face when a pellet ricocheted off the van and hit her forehead.

BBC, 7 April 2006 *

A man walking with a female friend in Cumbernauld was shot and died later in hospital.  The victim was hit twice in the chest at point-blank range (Scotsman, 8 April 2006).  A man has been jailed for a minimum of 20 years for the killing (see June 2008 Incidents).

BBC, 7 April 2006

A murder hunt was launched after a man was shot in East Calder.  Ballistics experts confirmed that the victim was killed by a single pellet from an airgun (Sunday Mail, 9 April 2006).  Police have arrested and charged a man in connection with the murder (Edinburgh Evening News, 17 April 2006).  See News Items.  A man has pleaded guilty to culpable homicide (see September 2006 Incidents).

BBC, 4 April 2006 *

A man entered a shop in Balornock, Glasgow, and discharged a firearm, reported to have been a sawn-off shotgun (Herald, 5 April 2006).  He ran off empty-handed.  No-one was injured.  A man has been given a nine year jail sentence (see September 2006 Incidents).

Scotland Today, 2 April 2006

A masked gunman burst into a family home in Drumchapel and fired a shot.  Three children and six adults were in the house at the time but no one was injured.  The incident is being treated as attempted murder by police.

Sunday Mail, 12 March 2006

A gunman shot two men at point-blank range in Greenock.  The shooting may have been a gangland vendetta.  One victim was released from hospital after treatment whilst the other man in a serious condition but stable.  A man has been arrested over the shooting (ic Scotland, 22 March 2006).

Daily Record, 10 March 2006

An airgun sniper is being hunted after he shot at three people in Ibrox, Glasgow.  One victim was pushing a wheelchair-bound relative.  A man and a woman were each treated in hospital.

Herald, 9 March 2006

A gunman attacked the Wishaw home of a security firm owner while he and his family slept.  A car parked in the driveway burst into flames.  No one was harmed but the family was severely shaken.

Evening Times, 9 March 2006

Kenneth McLarrie, who robbed five banks and a post office at gunpoint and stole almost £50,000, was jailed for 10 years.  He raided the Kilbarchan post office in July 2003, following which he robbed banks in Glasgow (three branches), Motherwell and Milngavie between April and December 2005.

Press Association, 8 March 2006

Firearms officers used a Taser gun during a stand-off with an armed man in the east end of Glasgow.  There had been reports of a man with a gun.

Press Association, 4 March 2006

A man has died of his injuries in hospital following a shooting incident in Drumchapel, Glasgow.  Later it was reported that the victim had been the target of a drive-by shooting on the M8 motorway in September (see Incidents) (Press Association, 5 March 2006).

BBC, 1 March 2006

James Dow was jailed for six years for shooting a teenage girl with an air rifle after a stone was thrown at his window in Lochore, Fife, in August 2005.  He had been freed on bail two days earlier.  His defence solicitor said that his judgment was clouded by a combination of alcohol and Valium.

Evening Times, 24 February 2006

John Birnie, who threatened two police officers in Paisley in June 2005, admitted possession of an imitation firearm with intent to make two police officers and a civilian believe that violence would be used against them.  He was arrested after being hunted down by airborne police.  Sentencing has been deferred.

Evening Times, 24 February 2006

Alan McGrory brandished an imitation gun as he walked through Glasgow city centre in November 2005 (see Incidents).  Armed police used a Taser gun after he made no attempt to drop his weapon.  McGrory admitted possession of an imitation firearm and a breach of the peace.  Sentencing has been deferred.

Scotsman, 21 February 2006

A man has died following an incident in a gun shop in Aberdeen.  It is believed he shot himself in the head.  The man's injuries were so severe that police were initially unable to make any kind of identification.  It is reported that the death is formally not being treated as suspicious.  The man had apparently taken ammunition to the shop and had asked to look at a shotgun that was for sale (Scotsman, 22 February 2006).

Sunday Mail, 19 February 2006

Peter Thomson has been found guilty of a gangland execution in Garthamlock, Glasgow, in April 2005 (see Incidents).  The attack was said to be the result of a feud between Thomson and the victim over a stolen shotgun.  Thomson had been found guilty of the culpable homicide of the victim's brother in 1998.

Evening Times, 17 February 2006

A man was gunned down as he stepped out of his car outside his house in Pollokshields, Glasgow.  The victim was rushed to hospital where he was in a serious condition.  A man has been arrested (BBC, 23 February 2006).

Edinburgh Evening News, 17 February 2006

Nicholas Croan pleaded guilty to culpably and recklessly firing an air rifle at the roof of a block of flats where men were working.  The incident took place in Edinburgh in August 2005.  He was placed on probation for 15 months and ordered to do 120 hours of community service.

BBC, 15 February 2006

A former pupil of an Ayrshire school told a court that he had taken a gun into a school classroom to shoot a teacher who he claimed had sexually abused him years earlier.  The teacher is on trial for attacking the man and faces other charges of physical cruelty and sex abuse.

BBC, 15 February 2006

A six-year-old boy was taken to hospital and other passengers were treated for shock after a bus window was smashed in an airgun attack in South Queensferry.

BBC, 14 February 2006

A man had a pellet lodged in his head after being shot with an airgun while walking in Edinburgh.  The pellet was removed at hospital and he required two stitches. Fifteen minutes after the man had been shot two teenage boys walking in the Gilmerton area were fired at from a vehicle.

BBC, 13 February 2006 *

Walter Dalgleish admitting assaulting a woman whom he shot in the neck with an air rifle fitted with a telescopic sight.  He was at the home of his girlfriend in Edinburgh when he aimed that gun at a group of children saying he would give them a fright.  The victim was standing near the youngsters and had to have a pellet removed in hospital.  Dalgleish was jailed for 32 months (BBC, 30 March 2006).

Daily Record, 9 February 2006

A man found dead in a layby between Braco and Crieff in Perthshire had shot himself.

Daily Record, 3 February 2006

According to a report in the paper, gangsters are "flooding" Scotland with deadly machine guns dubbed "Whispering Death".  The MAC-10 guns are apparently being bought by crime lords.

BBC, 3 February 2006

Not proven verdicts were returned in the case of a man accused of trying to shoot two men in a pub in Glasgow in February 2004.  Ross Boyd had denied trying to murder the men.

Press Association, 21 January 2006

Inquiries were being made into claims that a man was abducted at gunpoint near an industrial estate in Queenslie, Glasgow.  The man ran away from two other men, one of whom appeared to have a firearm, and called out for help as he was bundled into their car.

BBC, 18 January 2006

Police searched the bags of pupils from a school in Larkhall following a complaint from a member of the public.  An airgun had reportedly been fired at nearby houses.  Nothing was found.

BBC, 15 January 2006 *

A gun was fired at the door of a house in the Cardonald area of Glasgow.  A woman and two young children were inside at the time of the shooting.  The incident is being treated as attempted murder.  A man has been jailed for 12 years (see January 2009 Incidents).

BBC, 13 January 2006

Edward Graham, who brandished a loaded airgun (a ball-bearing gas-powered target gun, described as a very realistic-looking weapon) at two policemen in Clydebank in August 2005, has been jailed for seven years.  He admitted resisting arrest, brandishing a gun at two constables and having a loaded air weapon in a public place.

Daily Record, 12 January 2006

Two people using cash machines and pub staff were robbed at gunpoint by what is believed to have been the same gang in East Kilbride and Uddingston.

BBC, 11 January 2006

Christopher Smith admitted assaulting police officers by presenting an imitation firearm at them and threatening to shoot them and maliciously breaking panes of toughened glass.  The incident took place in Glenrothes in September 2005 when Smith walked into a police station with a plastic toy gun with the appearance of an automatic pistol.  Smith, who had been drinking before the incident, was jailed for four and a half years.

Daily Record, 10 January 2006

Robert McManus pointed an air rifle at police officers when they surround his flat in Lochgelly after a dispute with a neighbour in September 2005.  One of the officers grabbed hold of the weapon while another sprayed McManus with CS gas.  He has been jailed for five years after admitting two assault charges relating to the incident.

Press Association, 6 January 2006

Police responding to reports of an incident involving a firearm at a cottage in Finstown, Orkney, discovered the bodies of a husband and wife.  The deaths are being treated as suspicious and it is understood that police are treating the death of the woman as murder.  Police are not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident.  Police later confirmed that the couple died of gunshot wounds and that the husband, David Leask was a firearms and shotgun certificate holder.  Their four-year-old daughter was removed unharmed from the scene (Orcadian, 7 January 2006).


WALES

South Wales Echo, 31 December 2006 *

A 19-year-old was arrested for criminal damage and possession of a pellet gun and was issued with a £80 penalty notice for disorder.  This followed an incident in which a double-glazed window was smashed in the living room at a home in Newport.  The householder complained about the leniency of the penalty.

Western Mail, 28 December 2006

Thieves have stolen 19 air rifles and ball-bearing guns after breaking into a store in Gowerton, Swansea.  Fishing equipment was also stolen.

ic Wales, 20 December 2006

Police closed roads around Llangeitho, near Tregaron, west Wales, after shots were reported to have been fired.

South Wales Echo, 4 December 2006

A man wielding a gun attacked a worker in a post office in Porth and then escaped with a sum of money.

BBC, 16 November 2006

Meic Stevens, a folk singer, has been fined £500 for threatening to shoot a hotel manager in St David's when she refused him another drink in April 2006 (see Incidents).  An air pistol was recovered after a police armed response unit was called.   Stevens had denied a charge of threatening behaviour.

South Wales Argus, 8 November 2006 

A man is in police custody on suspicion of carrying out an armed robbery at an Ebbw Vale bank.  Police say an airgun was used.

South Wales Echo, 1 November 2006

Youths, some armed with fireworks and ball-bearing guns, roamed streets in Cardiff on Halloween.

Wales on Sunday, 29 October 2006

Gun club member William Charles Hughes from Gwersyllt, near Wrexham, was jailed for five years.  He held an illegal arsenal of more than 100 guns at his home.  He had admitted two charges of selling illegal firearms and 13 of possessing illegal guns and a charge of possessing ammunition.  Police found 111 weapons at his home.  One of the 37 handguns found was loaded.  The guns were left around the house because he didn't have enough secure cabinets in which to store them.  (See also June 2006 Incidents).

Daily Post, 12 October 2006

An airgun sniper shot and injured two teenage girls at Rhuddlan Castle.  Initially police officers were called after reports that fireworks were being let off but when they arrived they were approached by the teenagers, one of whom had a pellet wound in the thigh (she was still being treated in hospital) and the other was grazed.

South Wales Echo, 6 October 2006

A suspected gunman is being hunted after two attempted robberies in which he approached two women in Whitchurch, Cardiff, and demanded they hand over their bags.  Both women managed to run away unharmed.

BBC, 10 September 2006

A member of the armed forces was critically injured in a shooting at Ogmore-by-Sea near Bridgend.  Armed police were called following reports of gunshots in a car.  There were no arrests and police are not looking for anybody else.  It was reported that a high-powered rifle was involved (Wales on Sunday, 10 September 2006).

South Wales Echo, 7 September 2006

Following the seizure of an airgun in Penyfai, near Bridgend, the police have warned that a crackdown on air weapons will continue.  Officers will continue to work in partnership with neighbourhood Watch.

South Wales Argus, 4 September 2006

Two brothers were shot in their garden in Govilon, near Abergavenny.  Both received injuries to their legs.  The body of a man, a next door neighbour, was found in a field close to the house with a sawn-off double barrelled shotgun next to his body.  According to the police the dead man did not have a shotgun certificate.  A coroner recorded that the dead man, Trevor Fallon, killed himself (BBC, 13 December 2006).

Pembrokeshire tv, 7 August 2006

Police at are appealing for witnesses after a holidaymaker was shot at while he was parked near Dale.  An airgun pellet was fired from a passing car and hit his stationary vehicle.

Daily Record, 3 August 2006

A van driver from Swansea was shot in the arm by a high-velocity air rifle.  Even though he was dripping blood he was put on hold when he called 999.

Western Mail, 3 August 2006

Rail authorities are to use a helicopter with thermal imaging equipment after a train driver was attacked with an air rifle.  It appears the attack occurred in Rhyl, one of the Welsh hotspots for vandalism.

South Wales Echo, 1 August 2006

A .22 calibre air rifle was stolen in Tonypandy.  Police are appealing for information.

South Wales Argus, 24 July 2006 *

A man, believed to be carrying a handgun, went into a travel agents in Newport city centre and demanded cash.  The robber made off with an amount of cash in various currencies.

BBC, 24 July 2006

A man was pronounced dead at the scene after he is believed to have discharged a sawn-off shotgun in a street in Penllergaer, near Swansea, and then turned to gun on himself.

BBC, 12 July 2006

A member of staff at North Wales Police has been arrested as part of an investigation into firearms offences.

BBC, 12 July 2006

Armed police were called to a main road in Llanelli and sealed it off after two people were hit by air rifle pellets.  No arrests had been made.

South Wales Argus, 10 July 2006

Residents in Abertillery were woken up by the sound of two shots when a gun was fired in the street.  An injured man was taken to hospital but police said he had not been shot.  A hole had been made in the front window of a run-down house.

Mirror, 23 June 2006 *

A pensioner was arrested after what may be one of the biggest weapons seizures made in the UK.  William Charles Hughes of Gwersyllt, near Wrexham, appeared in court for a preliminary hearing after a heavy machine gun, between 70 and 80 hand weapons, rifles and shotguns and 500 airguns were found at his home.  Hughes has admitted 14 charges of illegally possessing firearms and faces new charges relating to supplying Martin Wynn Davies with weapons (BBC, 24 August 2006).  Davies was jailed for four years after admitting illegally possessing 21 weapons and more than 200 bullets (see April 2006 Incidents).  Hughes was jailed for five years (see October 2006 Incidents).

Daily Post, 14 June 2006

Three friends who cruised around Flintshire firing a BB gun out of their car were warned they would face jail.  They were spotted by a CCTV operator when driving through Mold.  Catrin Hughes, Wyn Matthew Hughes and Ben Gleeson admitted possessing two imitation firearms.  A BB rifle was picked up at Hughes's house and a BB handgun found in the glove compartment of a car.  A pump-action ball-bearing shotgun was later recovered from a house.  They admitted firing at people outside a pub in Buckley.

BBC, 9 June 2006

Lee Bidmead and Mark Page broke into a house in Newport in November 2005, armed with shotguns.  They tied up a man and stole valuable items.  They both admitted robbery and possessing a firearm with intent to rob.  Bidmead was jailed for 11 and a half years after admitting a separate burglary and asking for 16 others to be taken into consideration.  Page was jailed for 10 years.

Daily Post, 2 June 2006 *

A firefighter was shot in the back by a schoolboy while responding to the first of two hoax calls at an estate in Porthmadog.  The victim was hit with a ball-bearing pellet after getting out of the fire engine to investigate.  It was later reported that the boy was aged 6 (Daily Post, 11 February 2008).

BBC, 29 May 2006 *

Police were searching for a handgun used in the shooting of an 18-year-old man at a nightclub in Cardiff.  The victim had been shot in the stomach and was in a stable condition.  Extra police have been drafted into the city centre following the shooting.  The gunman responsible had not been caught a year after the shooting (South Wales Echo, 12 May 2007).

BBC, 25 May 2006

Two men have been arrested after a suspected robbery at a Cardiff sub-post office.  Police believe that an imitation firearm was used during the incident.

BBC, 24 May 2006

A pensioner from Criccieth has been cleared after appearing in court charged with shooting a drunken football supporter with an air rifle in September 2005.  He denied discharging the weapon but he did admit that he beat the man with the butt of the rifle in self-defence.  It had been alleged by the prosecution that the attack was totally unprovoked.

Correspondent to GCN, 17 May 2006

We received a message from a concerned mother with a disabled daughter in St Mellons, Cardiff, who has experienced anti-social behaviour outside her home.  Click here to read more details.

BBC, 15 May 2006

Wayne Brown threatened to shoot two police officers at close range in Abergele as he pointed a gun.  The police were able to distract him and one of them kicked the weapon out of his hand.  It turned out to be an imitation gun, and Brown has been jailed for four years after admitting possessing a replica firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.

South Wales Echo, 6 May 2006 *

Police are searching for Dominic Abdi in connection with a brutal attack on a pensioner in his flat in Butetown.  It is thought that Abdi may have since fled South Wales, possibly with a handgun.  Detectives believe that Abdi may be responsible for a raid on a hotel in Chepstow in which a man wielding a gun looted the safe.  A man has now been charged with the attempted murder in Butetown and with two other charges including possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence (BBC, 18 July 2006).

Daily Post, 5 May 2006

A 16-year-old schoolboy was shot in the neck whilst he was standing with friends outside a community centre in Llandudno.  Armed police officers were sent to the area.  The doctors who treated the victim have said that if it had gone a few inches either side it could have hit his main artery.  A 15-year old is being questioned and an air weapon has been recovered by police (Wales on Sunday, 14 May 2006).

BBC, 4 May 2006

Anthony Gurney has been jailed for five years after being convicted of having a prohibited weapon less than 24 in in length (a home-made "Maze" gun).  He shot himself in the face with a .22 bullet when he dropped his tiny self-constructed weapon on the floor and then tried to convince police he had been attacked by a mystery gunman.  The incident occurred as he was moving equipment from the back of a trailer in Penycae, near Wrexham.

Pembrokeshire tv, 28 April 2006 *

A man was arrested in a hotel in St David's and charged with public order and firearms offences.  It is alleged that he made threats on his girlfriend's life.  An air pistol was apparently in his luggage.  The gun had been adapted for use with a self-contained gas cartridge system (Western Mail, 10 May 2006).  He was fined £500 (see November 2006 Incidents).

South Wales Echo, 27 April 2006

A teenager was shot in the head by an airgun pellet while walking through woods near Ashcroft Park in Fairwater, Cardiff.  He had the pellet removed in hospital but still has tiny fragments in his head.  He was on a camping trip with friends at the time.

BBC, 26 April 2006 *

Four men from Birmingham appeared in court charged with offences relating to an armed robbery in Newport in April 2005 in which a security guard was shot in the leg (see Incidents).  One of them, Michall Sinclair, admits robbery and possessing a firearm.  Daniel Nelson and Ryan Gamble were found guilty of conspiracy of having a firearm with intent to commit robbery and wounding the security guard.  Gamble was also convicted of possessing a firearm with criminal intent (BBC, 2 June 2006).  Nelson and Gamble were given an indeterminate sentence and will do nearly nine years before parole is considered, Sinclair was given 12 years in a young offenders' institute.  A fourth man, Leroy Davidson was given 10 years in jail (BBC, 19 July 2006).

South Wales Echo, 22 April 2006

Armed police surrounded the house of Steven Pratt and his wife in Church Village, after she had dialled 999 saying that her husband had a gun.  The couple had been having a row over a dinner.  Pratt appeared in court to admit affray and the possession of a firearm without a certificate and was given a conditional discharge.  His air rifle was confiscated.

South Wales Echo, 20 April 2006

A disabled great-grandmother was shot in the arm as after she'd returned from shopping in Porthcawl in her motorised scooter.  She was hit as she took her shopping off the scooter.  She believes that youths playing the fields surrounding her bungalow were responsible.  According to the article she was the third person to fall victim to airgun thugs in less than a week.

BBC, 9 April 2006

A businessman was shot in the leg on the doorstep of his home in Merthyr Tydfil.  Three people have been arrested (BBC, 10 April 2006).

AOL News, 9 April 2006 *

Martin Wynn Davies, a primary school head teacher has been charged with illegally possessing six handguns and 239 hollow-point bullets.  It is alleged that he kept the guns and ammunition at his parents' home in Wrexham.  He had previously been charged with possession of a 9 mm semi-automatic pistol and a .22 semi-automatic rifle which were found at his home in Johnstown, Wrexham.  Police had recovered 43 guns, of which just 19 were held legally.  Davies is a member of a rifle and pistol club.   He has been sacked by his local authority (BBC, 7 August 2006) and has been jailed for four years (Western Mail, 30 June 2006).  William Charles Hughes, who has admitted illegally possessing guns (see June 2006 Incidents), has been charged with supplying weapons to Davies (BBC, 24 August 2006).

BBC, 6 April 2006

Robert Hillman pointed a gun at a shop worker in Aberkenfig and stole £130.  He has been jailed for five years after admitting robbery and possession of a firearm.

South Wales Echo, 4 April 2006

A nine-year-old boy survived an air rifle shooting which could have killed him if the pellet had not struck upside down.  The victim was shot from an upstairs window on the street of his home in Brackia, Bridgend.  The pellet was lodged in his neck.  A 17-year-old has been arrested in relation to the attack.

BBC, 25 March 2006

Armed police arrested a man and a woman after an air rifle was fired at the back of a property in Llanelli.  An airgun and ammunition were recovered.

Pembrokeshire TV, 6 March 2006

A street in Milford Haven was closed off to the public as police investigated reports of a man brandishing a gun in a minibus.  A man was arrested on suspicion of possessing a firearm.  The gun turned out to be a replica ball-bearing gun.

Daily Post, 22 February 2006

A drive-by gunman fired at a delivery man who was unloading beer at a pub in Trevor, near Llangollen.  The victim was hit in the leg by an air rifle pellet but was saved from serious injury by his overalls.  The pellet narrowly missed his partner's face.

Daily Post, 8 February 2006

Seven people and three vehicles were hit with pellets apparently fired from an airgun in Llandrindod Wells.

South Wales Echo, 7 February 2006

David Alun Williams, who carried a loaded air rifle in Merthyr Tydfil bus station, has been jailed for a year.  He told police he intended to shoot vermin, but admitted it was illegal for him to have the firearm because he had served a prison sentence.

Pembrokeshire tv, 1 February 2006

A mental health patient has been charged with firearms offences and making threats to kill after he held a gun to the head of a worker at Havenway Day Hospital in Pembroke Dock.  The gun was found to be a replica .44 air pistol.  The incident lasted for 30 minutes during which staff dealt with the situation until an armed response team arrived.  Health officials are now reviewing security (BBC, 2 February 2006).

Daily Post, 13 January 2006

Richard Queen has been jailed for 14 months after he was captured on CCTV pointing a ball-bearing pistol at a motorist's head in Shotton.  He was arrested at gunpoint by armed response officers.  He was drunk at the time and claimed that it was just a joke.


INCIDENTS INVOLVING ANIMALS

Portsmouth.co.uk, 21 December 2006

A family's pet cat has had to have a leg amputated after he was shot in a Fareham street by an air rifle.  Vets discovered an air rifle pellet embedded in the cat's leg but could not save the leg.  It is the third time in two years the family have had a pet cat shot.

Stockport Express, 20 December 2006

Following airgun attacks in Bramhall one pet cat will have to be destroyed if he has to face further surgery and another has a pellet embedded so deeply in her leg vets could not remove it.  The first cat was shot in the leg in February and, during surgery, vets pulled another pellet out which had lain undetected.  In August he was shot in the spine.  The other cat recently returned shaken and bleeding after being shot in the leg.

Milton Keynes Today, 19 December 2006

A collie dog was shot with an airgun while she was being taken for a walk by her 13-year-old owner in Hatton.  A vet was certain that the wound she received was caused by an air weapon.

ic Coventry, 18 December 2006

RSPCA staff at an animal rescue centre in Allesley fear that someone may be deliberately targeting cats with an airgun.  Three cats dropped off at the centre recently underwent routine checks by vets who discovered airgun pellets in their bodies.  One cat with breathing difficulties had a pellet lodged in his head.  All three had been shot some time ago because the wounds had healed over but have responded to treatment.

Bolton News, 13 December 2006

A reader wrote to the paper commenting on an incident in which a cat was strapped to a tree and shot 20 times with an airgun.  Vets in Bolton say they deal with a lot of cats that have been shot, but rarely with one that has been pelted so many times.

Hoddesdon & Broxbourne Mercury, 8 December 2006

A cat has had to have stitches after she was shot with what is thought to be a large air rifle in Hoddesdon.  A "big and pointed pellet" was removed by a vet.

BBC, 6 December 2006

A puppy was shot dead in front of its owner outside a house in Kirkby, Merseyside.  The owner was uninjured in the attack.

Bury St Edmonds Today, 28 November 2006

A pet cat has been shot in the head with an air rifle in Badwell Ash.  A pellet was lodged in the cat's skull, just above her nose.  The vet hopes to see her make a full recovery.

BBC, 23 November 2006 *

Police have appealed for information after four deer were found illegally shot and killed in the Cushnie area near Alford in Aberdeenshire.  They had been shot numerous times using a .22 rifle.  Two men have been fined for shooting the deer (see August 2007 Incidents).

Personal Communication, 21 November 2006

A member of a small Wildlife Rescue Charity based in Bedfordshire has written to us to say that in July, August and September this year they treated 13 patients from the local area who had been shot with airguns, a huge increase on last year.  He writes "Most of the casualties had been shot on housing estates, with pigeons topping the list of those birds whom it is apparently still ok to shoot at in the garden.  We have seen the same with corvids, birds of prey and water fowl.  We also had an incident of someone in our street targeting animals, including a pet magpie, which was clearly identified as such, and shot anyway.  Just last week, a mallard duck was brought in to us having been shot in the chest with an airgun. Luckily, his injuries are responding to treatment and he will eventually be released."  The Charity's vet has also seen a huge increase in the numbers of cats used as targets this year.

Blackpool Today, 18 November 2006

A pedigree cat was shot in the shoulder in an airgun attack in Layton.  His owner discovered the cat under bushes bleeding from a wound.  An airgun pellet had lodged in the muscle above his right elbow and was removed by surgery.

This is Lancashire, 15 November 2006

Matthew Knowles pleaded guilty to carrying a loaded weapon and ammunition in public.  The charge followed an incident in which he and two friends went to a park in Breightmet, Bolton, with his air rifle in June 2006 (see Incidents).  While they were there a male swan was shot repeatedly.  The dead swan was found with a twig pushed through its beak.  Two airgun pellets were found in its head and it had been shot three times in the throat and neck.  Knowles claimed that he only shot at the swan once after it was dead, and that a friend was responsible for the fatal shots.  Knowles was sentenced to eight weeks in custody, suspended for 12 months, with a requirement to attend probation for 12 months and complete the Think First programme (This is Lancashire, 16 November 2006).

Dewsbury Today, 10 November 2006

An article about the horrific cruelty inflicted on cats in the Dewsbury area includes an account of how a cat was found dead in Overthorpe Park after being shot in the stomach with an airgun and having a lit firework inserted into it.

This is Lancashire, 4 November 2006

Two youths shot a goose dead at point-blank range in a country park at Farnworth, Bolton.  Moments earlier they had maimed a swan after firing into a flock of birds on the lake.  They were witnessed by a family.  The youths were armed with a .22 air rifle.

Daily Post, 31 October 2006 *

A two-year-old cat was wounded by up to three pellets, one shattering a leg which may have to be amputated, when she was shot with an airgun in Blaenau Ffestiniog.  At first it was thought she'd been savaged by a dog but an X-ray revealed the pellets.

Wymondham and Attleborough Mercury, 19 October 2006

A cat owner has warned there could be someone in Wymondham shooting cats with an air rifle.  Her cat was shot in the leg with a pellet.  A pellet was quickly removed but she is worried about letting her pet out of the house.

Evening News (Edinburgh), 19 October 2006

A swan is recovering in an animal hospital after being repeatedly shot with an airgun and a shotgun.  It had been shot on several different occasions.  The bird was found at a pond in Falkirk.  Those who shot the bird were described by the Scottish SPCA as "incredibly cruel".

BBC, 17 October 2006

Animal inspectors collected the bodies of three animals shot by airguns in the Black Country in one week.  A cat had to be put down after being left paralysed after being shot in Wednesbury.  Also in Wednesbury a collared dove was found shot dead.  A swan died after being shot in the head by Effington Canal in Walsall.

BBC, 13 October 2006

At least 19 pet doves have been shot and killed by an airgun sniper in Wedmore, Somerset.  Their bodies were found scatted across the village during the last few weeks.  Their breeder said she had about 30 birds at her home but nearly all had disappeared.  Two birds which have been survived are being treated in an animal rescue centre.

Chesterfield Today, 12 October 2006 *

A pet cat was described by his owner as being "extremely lucky" to be alive after being hit from close-range with a shotgun, leaving 34 pieces of lead in his body.  The car has undergone operations to remove pellets from his legs, ear and tail following the shooting at Woodthorpe.

Sheffield Today, 11 October 2006

According to the RSPCA swans are being "killed for fun" in South Yorkshire by yobs with air rifles.  Over the last three months then animal welfare charity has dealt with the deaths of five adult swans and a cygnet.  Incidents have occurred in Athersley in Barnsley (May), Harlington in Doncaster (September) and most recently in Hemingfield near Barnsley.  In the latest incident two swans were decapitated after being shot: the RSPCA believes the heads were taken to get rid of the evidence, the air weapon pellets.

Scarborough Today, 5 October 2006

A swan was used for target practice at Scarborough Mere and was hit eight times with airgun pellets.  It was given about a 50/50 chance of survival.  The RSPCA reported a total of 63 incidents of air rifle attacks on animals and birds in the north between January 1 and July 18 this year.

Norwich Evening News, 5 October 2006

A woman has spoken of her anger after thugs who shot her pet cat and left it for dead.  Two-year-old Ernie was found by a neighbour lying at the site of a former pub in Norwich.  The cat was put on a drip by vets.  He had been shot in the shoulder and pelvis by an airgun.

Coventry Evening Telegraph, 3 October 2006

A two-year-old pet cat was shot with an air rifle while exploring the streets of Chapel End, near Nuneaton.  The cat limped home and was found to have a lump in her leg.  A bone had been broken in two places.

BBC, 29 September 2006

A man from Lauder in the Scottish Borders has been arrested and charged in connection with various wildlife and firearms offences.

BBC, 28 September 2006

Four slaughtered pregnant grey seals and a pup were discovered at Point of Vastray, Orkney.  All had been shot in the head.  The Sea Shepherd Conservation charity has offered a reward of £5,000 for information.

Whitby Today, 21 September 2006

Another swan has been found shot in Whitby harbour.  Last month another bird was found with four airgun pellets lodged in its head.  After the latest incident a swan was found swimming in circles and gasping from air.  It died before it could be operated on and a post mortem found the swan had been shot twice in its neck with an air rifle.

News & Star, 20 September 2006

A reader had responded to reading reports of domestic animal cruelty in Carlisle by suggesting that a 'pet watch' should be set up to report groups of airgun-carrying people to police.

ic Solihull, 20 September 2006

The owners of a cat who was shot through the neck in Castle Bromwich have warned their neighbours to beware.  The cat could be paralysed after the pellet from an air rifle shot through his neck and got lodged in his spine.

South Wales Echo, 19 September 2006

A cat had to be put down after it is believed it was shot.  A member of the public found the cat in Mountain Ash and took it to a vet.  The cat had a puncture to its windpipe, an injury consistent with an airgun attack.

Weston & Somerset Mercury, 14 September 2006

Cats are being killed and seriously injured by youths shooting them with airguns.  In the last month three cats in one street on an estate in Weston-super-Mare have been shot.  One of them has had to be put down because of its internal injuries.

BBC, 14 September 2006

A cat from Sherwood, Nottinghamshire, had to have his leg amputated after being shot with an airgun pellet.  An RSPCA has dealt with 43 air weapon attacks in the East Midlands this year.

Evening Telegraph & Argus, 6 September 2006

In what the Scottish SPCA have described as a sickening attack, two kittens in Longforgan have been left nursing horrific airgun injuries.  One kitten lost an eye while the other suffered a puncture wound to the stomach.

Correspondent to GCN, 30 August 2006

We were contacted by a correspondent about an incident in which a domestic cat had its front leg shot off by lampers on a truck using a high powered .22 rifle on farmland next to houses in Willingale, Essex.  The lampers are causing great alarm among residents and are not being policed at all.

Ashfield Today, 30 August 2006

A family in Kirkby-in-Ashfield have been left devastated after their pet cat died from injuries it suffered when it was shot with an air rifle.  The cat was discovered vomiting with a gunshot wound to his side.  An air rifle pellet had gone through his intestine and caused massive internal bleeding.

Evening News, 29 August 2006

A pet cat has survived after being shot with an air rifle for a second time in months.  The cat was found at home by his owner in Stockbridge with a wound in his back.  Vets decided not to remove a pellet which is lodged centimetres from his spine. 

BBC, 20 August 2006

A swan rescued by volunteers in Whitby harbour because it was caught in fishing line was found to have been shot four times.  Airgun pellets were found by vets in its head and neck.  The bird is recovering after an emergency operation.  A local man has offered a reward for the successful prosecution of those responsible (Whitby Today, 31 August 2006).

Norwich Evening News, 19 August 2006

A cat has been left with a broken leg and stomach injuries after being hit by an airgun pellet in Burgh Castle.  She returned home limping with a badly injured hind leg.

Beccles & Bungay Journal, 18 August 2006

Another cat has had to have his leg amputated as a result of being shot at close range with an air rifle.  The family pet was shot in Gillingham.

ic Renfrewshire, 17 August 2006 *

A young cat was shot in the head in Glenburn, Paisley, and left to die in the street with blood pouring from a gaping wound.  He was found by his schoolboy owner and taken for treatment at a vets and is now recovering.  Police are investigating the shooting.

King's Lynn Today, 15 August 2006

Christopher Wood repeatedly shot his neighbour's dog with an airgun when the dog got into his hen coop in Terrington St Clement.  He continued to shoot after the dog, one of two who had entered the coop and killed two hens, crawled away.  He was fined £1000 and ordered to pay vets' fees and legal costs.

24dash.com, 8 August 2006

A thoroughbred horse lost an eye and a pony was left with a pellet lodged in its head after an airgun attack near Loftus, east Cleveland.  The horse was discovered standing in a pool of blood in its stable.  It was later discovered that the pony has been shot too.  A 19-year-old have been arrested in connection with the attack (BBC, 6 September 2006).

News & Star, 7 August 2006

A pet dog was shot in Botcherby, Carlisle.  Although she is expected to make a full recovery vets have been unable to remove an airgun pellet lodged against her shoulder.

Hartlepool Mail, 7 August 2006

A cat has had to have his eye removed after being shot with an air rifle.  He returned to his home in Blackhall with his eyeball hanging out.  He is now recovering at home.

ic Surrey, 2 August 2006

Villagers in Crawley Down have warned that a series of airgun incidents could cause serious injury if they do not stop.  Residents called police after finding wood pigeons shot out of trees behind their houses.  If it was found that any bird had been shot for fun then the incident could constitute a criminal offence.  Another witness has since come forward to raise his concerns (ic Surrey, 9 August 2006).

South Wales Echo, 1 August 2006

A family's pet cat was shot through the eye after an air rifle attack in Pentrebane, Cardiff.  The family are offering a reward of £200 for anyone who can help to find out who was responsible.

Daily Record, 29 July 2006

Rescuers were shocked after a dog was found distressed and in agony in woods near Bathgate.  It had been tied to a tree and hit 15 times with an airgun whilst being used for target practice.  The dog is being treated and vets are expecting him to made a good recovery.

This is Lancashire, 27 July 2006

Two sisters have spoken of their devastation at the horrific injuries their family pet suffered.  The cat is being nursed back to health after an airgun attack in Clitheroe.  The cat had to have one of its legs amputated after a pellet shattered her shoulder bone.

Scotsman, 27 July 2006

Among the examples of cruelty to animals in the last year reported by the SSPCA were an incident when a group of teenagers chased a roe deer into the Forth and Clyde Canal before shooting it between the eyes with an airgun and kicking it to break its jaw and another in which a swan which was nesting by the Falkirk Wheel was shot 12 times with an air rifle by teenagers walking past: the swan was so badly injured it will never fly again.

Cambridge Evening News, 27 July 2006

A swan, one of only two, has been shot at a country park in Milton.  It was found with an airgun pellet embedded in its head - one inch from its eye.  Vets removed the pellet which had formed a cyst.  Rangers hope it will be reunited with its mate and six cygnets.

ic Coventry, 20 July 2006

A much-loved family cat was shot with an air rifle leaving the owners, who live in Gibbet Hill, with a £300 bill.  The cat had been carrying the pellet around in her face since the end of May.

Welwyn & Hatfield Times, 19 July 2006

A two-year-old family cat may have to have his leg amputated after he was shot with a high-powered air rifle.  The cat was found cowering upstairs at his Welwyn Garden City home.  An x-ray revealed a metal airgun pellet lodged in his thigh bone.

Norwich Evening News, 12 July 2006

An airgun sniper has been targeting wildlife at Thorpe St Andrew.  Three doves and pigeon have been found seriously injured.  The birds have been treated by a vet.

K9 Magazine, 12 July 2006

A dog was shot dead in the back garden of the family home in Birmingham.  The dog died almost immediately after it was shot with an air rifle by an unknown person through a hole in the garden fence.

Weston & Somerset Mercury, 6 July 2006

A cat is lucky to be alive after being shot with an air rifle in Weston-super-Mare.  The pellet had lodged next to his spine.  The cat's intestine and kidney had been badly damaged.

Daily Record, 5 July 2006

A cat had to have her leg amputated when she was shot days after having kittens.  She was shot with an air rifle after she went into the garden her owner's house in Elgin.

BBC, 5 July 2006

A young female peregrine falcon was found dead at Hoare Stones in the Derwent Valley.  It had been shot on two separate occasions in the past two months.  The RSPB has condemned the killing.  Peregrine falcons are a protected species and killing them can result in a jail term of up to six months.

Evening Leader (Wrexham & Flintshire), 3 July 2006

A spate of attacks on cats and mysterious disappearances have sparked fears among wildlife groups.  Four cats have been shot with airguns in the past month, three of them fatally.  All but one of the incidents have happened in Connah's Quay raising concerns that a lone gunman may be involved.  See June Incidents.

Crewe Chronicle, 28 June 2006

A family's pet cat was shot three times with an air rifle outside their home in Greenacres, Crewe.  The cat has lost the movement in her paw and faces the possibility of it being amputated if the pellet cannot be removed.  The pet's owner said "We have been hearing air rifle pellets hitting walls and fences for weeks" and described how her neighbour's car had been attacked recently.

BBC, 28 June 2006

Three cats were shot in airgun attacks in Ramsgate.  All survived despite pellets lodged in their bodies.

Kent Online, 27 June 2006

A horse survived an attack in which it was apparently shot with an air rifle in a paddock between Maidstone and Chatham.  It has two wounds to its shoulder and one to its stomach.

Correspondent to GCN, 16 June 2006

A correspondent from Essex wrote to us describing how her cat had been shot recently with an airgun.  The cat could not survive the injuries.  Her vet commented that in 30 years of practice he had never seen such sever injuries from an airgun pellet.  It had penetrated his lung, diaphragm, liver, spleen, both kidneys and several parts of the bowel.  The police have seized a weapon from the person suspected and are working with the RSPCA to pursue a prosecution.

Cheshunt and Waltham Mercury, 16 June 2006

A cat was left with life-threatening injuries after being deliberately shot with an air rifle.  The cat was attacked in Cheshunt.  He was hit with a rare type of "designed to kill" pellet which left him with severe internal wounds.  Three cats had recently been targeted in nearby Hoddesden.

Flintshire Standard, 10 June 2006

A cat was targeted twice in separate airgun attacks and died after the second shooting having been hit in the stomach.  Her owner found her slumped in the garden in Connah's Quay.

Bolton Evening News, 8 June 2006

Schoolchildren watched in horror as a group of four youths killed a swan with an air rifle - 20 shots were fired.  The swan was one of a pair that had been visiting a Bolton country park for the last three years.  Three people, aged 15, 17 and 21, have been arrested in connection with the shooting.  An air rifle was recovered from one of three houses raided by police (This is Lancashire, 27 June 2006).  A 21-year-old has pleaded guilty to carrying a loaded weapon and ammunition in public (see November 2006 Incidents).

News Shopper, 6 June 2006

A cat owner in Abbey Wood took his pet to a PDSA PetAid hospital with what he thought was a bruised leg.  The cat had in fact had her leg bone shattered in an airgun shooting.  The cat needed to have special metal cage constructed whilst her leg was healing.

Buchan Observer, 6 June 2006

A cat from St Fergus had to undergo an operation after she was shot with an airgun.  She is making a full recovery.

Daily Record, 1 June 2006

Vet Neil McIntosh describes the case of Sammy, a cat whom his owner thought was a bit of a psychopath because he would suddenly hiss and spit without warning.  His owner decided she couldn't deal with his aberrant behaviour and took him to the surgery to have him put to sleep.  An x-ray revealed that the cat had been peppered with airgun pellets.  In total, 12 were embedded in his body.  Cases like this have prompted the Scottish SPCA to set up a new online database for reports of airgun attacks.

This is Wiltshire, 31 May 2006

A family have spoken of their disgust after their cat was used as target practice by someone using an airgun in Grange Park, Swindon.  The cat was shot in the stomach with the pellet ending up in his leg muscle.

Evening News (Norwich), 27 May 2006

A vet in Norwich has described his disgust at people who shoot cats for thrills.  He had recently seen two cats injured by air rifle pellets, one of which had its jaw broken, and said in an average year he treats three to four cats that have been shot.

Ripley Today, 25 May 2006

A pet cat shot with an air rifle has had to have its leg amputated.  The incident happened after the cat was let out to roam from its home in Marlpool.

Newquay Voice, 24 May 2006

A herring gull was found in Newquay with three air rifle pellets embedded in its neck.  It is believed to have been shot a few days before.  The injured gull survived.  The RSPCA is appealing for information to discover who was responsible: all birds and their nests are afforded protection under The Wildlife and Countryside Act.

Lancashire Evening Post, 19 May 2006

A family's cat was shot and fatally injured in Ribbleton.  The injured cat was found crawling up the driveway, dragging her back legs behind.  She had to be put down.  X-ray results showed she had been shot with an airgun.

BBC, 17 May 2006

Dr Brian Boughton, a district councillor, used an air rifle to shoot a seagull that had nested in his roof in Dartmouth to stop in spreading disease.  After a prosecution brought by the RSPCA he was found guilty of intentionally killing a wild bird.  He was conditionally discharged for a year.

Shropshire Star, 16 May 2006

A pet cat from Wheathill, near Bridgnorth, was discovered to have an airgun pellet lodged in his pelvis after he'd been taken to a vets because he stopped eating and appeared unwell.  The cat, which had also been manhandled, had severe internal injuries and had to be put down.

Leamington Spa Today, 16 May 2006

A man was found not guilty of shooting and killing a dog, which had to be put down in June 2005 after suffering extensive bleeding - an air rifle pellet was found in his abdomen.  The man admitted firing his airgun into the ground in his garden at Lighthorne Heath in an attempt to scare off the dog and the magistrates said the evidence against him was inconclusive.

Barking and Dagenham Recorder, 11 May 2006

A cat which was shot with an airgun at close range in Barking has been blinded in one eye as a result of the attack.

Wilmslow Express, 10 May 2006

A family from Alderley Edge are outraged after their cat was shot with an air rifle as it played in the back garden.  The cat will need surgery to pin a broken leg and remove a pellet from her back.

Daily Mail, 6 May 2006

A farmer from Bourne End, Bedfordshire, was cautioned and arrested after he fired a warning shot at a neighbour's dog which he believed was harassing his sheep.  The dog was hit by pellets on its back leg.  Armed police officers arrived in six patrol cars.  He was later released without charge.

Wigan Today, 5 May 2006

A kitten who limped into the family home in Atherton was found to have an airgun pellet lodged in his leg.  An RSPCA inspector said that incidents like this were on the increase in the Leigh area.

This is Wiltshire, 4 May 2006

A cat owner and her daughter from Bradford on Avon discovered that their cat had been shot with an airgun.  A pellet was embedded in the side of their pet.  The cat is making a full recovery after managing to get the pellet out himself.

BBC, 4 May 2006

A lamb was shot dead with an air rifle at a farm in Teynham, Kent.  The act was described as "an unacceptable act of cruelty" by a police officer.

Macclesfield Express, 3 May 2006

A cat, who was found snared and shot with an air rifle in Macclesfield, had to be destroyed.  A boy, the older of two who were seen in the area, had been seen carrying a big air rifle.

Eastbourne News, 2 May 2006

A cat is recovering after being shot with an airgun pellet and subsequently falling 10 feet from the roof of her owners' house in Polegate.  The pellet hit her back leg and caused her to lose balance.

BBC, 2 May 2006

A female hen harrier, one of England's rarest birds of prey, appears to have been shot illegally in Northumberland.  The bird left the nest in which eggs had been laid on a patch of moor close to Corbridge, but shortly afterwards four shots were heard.  The bird has not been seen since.

Herts 24, 27 April 2006

Two cats have been shot in the same area of Hoddesdon in a two-week period.  Both cats had been hit by airgun pellets.  One had a pellet removed from under the skin, the other cat had a pellet lodged in his bowel.

BBC, 24 April 2006

An avocet, a rare wading bird, was found dead near Immingham docks.  It had a wound in its neck thought to have been caused by an airgun pellet.  Avocets are protected by UK law and anyone convicted of the killing could face a fine of up to £5000 or up to six months imprisonment.  The shooting was condemned by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

Sunday Mail, 23 April 2006 *

The carcasses of 91 shot sheep have been found near Port na Con, Durness, in Sutherland.  Police say they have no idea what the motive is for the killings.  It was also reported that three lambs had been found shot in Hacklett, Benbecula, in the Outer Hebrides.  A further four lambs were killed at Aird, Benbecula, in May (Daily Record, 29 May 2006).

Correspondent to GCN, 23 April 2006

Another cat owner has contacted GCN this month telling us how her cat had been shot with an air rifle and was now seriously ill.  The cat had been shot in the flank and had internal bleeding, damage to her internal organs and needs surgery though is too weak at present for that.  The vet is unable to remove the pellet and can only repair the damage it made on entry.  The owner, from Ellesmere Port, tells us she had often heard what sounded like a weapon being fired from a house at the back of their home.  The police and RSPCA are both involved in trying to find the person responsible. 

Hartlepool Mail, 20 April 2006

A cat suffered a shattered bone when it was shot in the leg with an airgun in West Park, Hartlepool.  Its owner has warned other pet owners and parents to be on their guard.

Times, 15 April 2006

Rescuers from Salisbury Wildlife Rescue have described how swans and other wild birds are being shot down by people worried about bird flu.  A spokesman said "It is ridiculous.  People are shooting at everything flying over their land in case the birds have bird flu, but there is nothing wrong with them".  He described how a swan the organisation had found had been peppered at least nine times when shot by a shotgun.

BBC, 14 April 2006

A sheep was shot in the face with a rifle on an estate about 10 miles from Dumfries.  The sheep was left with a shattered jaw and severed tongue and had to be put down.

ic Coventry, 10 April 2006

A cat was left fighting for its life after it had been shot with a shotgun in Langley, near Stratford.  Vets found tiny steel balls embedded in its nose, eye socket, neck, flank, abdomen, bladder and pelvis.  It had also suffered nerve damage in one of its legs.

East Anglian Daily Times, 10 April 2006

Two cats have been shot in air rifle attacks in a small residential area of Beccles.  Both pets were left with serious injuries.

Shropshire Star, 7 April 2006

A swan has died after being rescued from a pool near Gobowen, Oswestry.  It had both an airgun and a shotgun pellet stuck in its windpipe.  RSPCA officials called for changes in the law over the sale and use of airguns.

BBC, 6 April 2006

A swan has been shot dead in a park in Doncaster.  A park warden found the young bird which had been shot in the head with an air rifle.  Other birds, several fish and a rabbit have been killed or mutilated in the area in the last week.

Correspondent to GCN, 5 April 2006

We received a message from a cat owner in Kensal Green, London, who describes the appalling behaviour of her neighbour and the injuries sustained by her cat who was shot by him with an airgun (see Letter).  Please read her letter, and if you have had similar experiences and problems with the indiscriminate use of airguns please contact GCN.

Mirror, 1 April 2006

A farmer in Westwell, near Ashford in Kent, discovered the bloodstained remains of nine newborn lambs which had been shot dead with a rifle.  Two adult ewes also died of shock as the gunman opened fire on the flock.

Sutton Guardian, 16 March 2006

A cat was shot in the leg with an airgun, leaving a mother and her young children in Sutton distraught.  The cat had to be fitted with a metal brace around his leg.

Shropshire Star, 18 February 2006

A cat taken to a vet by his owners from Ashley Heath, near Market Drayton, was found to have been shot in the abdomen with an airgun.  The cat underwent a three-hour operation to remove his left kidney.

Mirror, 15 February 2006

Children witnessed their two dogs being shot at a beauty spot in Bradford.  One of the Dalmatians was killed, the other was seriously injured.  The dogs had been off their leads and may have strayed onto farm land.

Daily Post, 13 February 2006

A raven, shot with an airgun in Ruabon, had injuries that were so severe that it had to be put down.  RSPCA bosses condemned the attack.

Liverpool Echo, 3 February 2006

A tawny owl was left in agony with a pellet in its neck after being shot with an airgun as it roosted in a tree in Southport.  The bird was described as being "incredibly lucky to have survived".  Wildlife officers have vowed to hunt down the attackers.

BBC, 2 February 2006

A Burmese cat was found bleeding internally after being shot by an airgun in Poole.  An x-ray revealed a pellet was lodged in his stomach.

BBC, 2 February 2006

A family cat was shot with an air rifle in Delabole, Cornwall.  The cat had to have its leg amputated.  It is thought that youngsters were responsible.

BBC, 1 February 2006

A swan was found shot dead at a country park in Clipstone, Nottinghamshire.  It was found floating in a lake with an airgun pellet in its neck.

Times, 28 January 2006

The first breeding eagle owl to live in Britain for hundreds of years has died after being fired on with a shotgun at a secret location in the North Yorkshire dales.  The female owl and her mate were featured in a BBC documentary.  When the dead bird was found her body contained a large amount of heavy-gauge shot, normally used to kill foxes.

Dearne Today, 26 January 2006

During a spate of attacks on a Dearne estate a swan, a robin and a sparrow have been killed by being shot with an air rifle.  The swan had a pellet lodged in its neck, the robin was found hanging from a tree and the sparrow was on the ground.  A spokesman for the Safer Neighbourhood Team said that the incidents demonstrated the ongoing problem of misuse of air rifles.

BBC, 24 January 2006

A goose, affectionately known as The Colonel, has been shot in the head at point-blank range with an airgun on a village pond at Hanley Swan, Worcestershire.  After minor surgery the goose has been returned to the water.

Mirror, 17 January 2006

Trevor Wellington, a farmer from Wadebridge, shot dead his neighbour's dog which he claimed had terrorised his family.  Magistrates ruled that he was not entitled to shoot the dog.  He was to be sentenced the next day.

Edinburgh Evening News, 16 January 2006

The Scottish SPCA called for tighter controls on airguns as they revealed that 200 pets had been injured or killed by the weapons in the last year.  Their report, Airgun Agony, is based on records from vets and Scottish SPCA inspectors.  Animals attacked included cats, dogs, swans and other wild birds, seals, lambs, horses, deer and small animals such as rabbits.  The worst records came from Aberdeen and Glasgow.

News & Star, 10 January 2006

A Cumbrian RSPCA officer has spoken out after revealing that there were more than 100 airgun attacks on animals in the North of England in 2005.  He has warned those who take pot-shots at pets that they could end up in court.

Manchester Evening News, 2 January 2006

A cat was left blind in both eyes after being held down and shot seven times with an airgun in Fazakerley, Liverpool.  Three of the pellets were embedded in the cat's skull.  Vets were unable to remove two pellets, one remains in her jaw and one in her leg.  The family's other cat was also shot recently and the family are being taunted by the cat's attackers - a bag of pellets was left on the doorstep.

Huddersfield Daily Examiner, 2 January 2006

A kitten needed major surgery to remove 9 inches of badly-damaged intestines after being shot with an airgun.  His owner, from Elland, said "the pellet had gone deep into his intestines and almost come out the other side".  It is not known what the long-term damage will be.

 



 

INCIDENTS AND OTHER CONCERNS RAISED BY GCN CORRESPONDENTS - 2006

ENGLAND

Hythe, November 2006

We have received a letter from a correspondent who raises some very worrying issues about what happens to a deadly legacy when a gun owner dies.  Here is part of what she wrote:
 
"My partner recently passed away.  He had a vast collection of firearms at his home, there were shotguns, rifles, pistols, revolvers, handguns (pump action shotgun) & antique guns etc.  And I have never seen so much ammunition!  There were between 30/40 guns,  some legal some not (I was told).  His brother-in-law and nephew took all the firearms from his house for safe keeping as they said I would be in serious trouble if I had possession of any of them and shouldn't leave them in an empty house as I didn't have a licence and he'd sort them all out at a later date

"I was stupid enough to trust these people, I know the whereabouts of 7 of the shotguns and I gave permission for him to sell about 6 of the shotguns.  When I enquired where all the rest of the guns were they told my solicitor they had sold the lot, this includes the illegal ones I presume.  I have made repeated requests for the name of the person they sold them to and for the receipts and lists etc, they have not responded to date.
 
"I informed my local police as I was responsible for all the guns and wanted to make sure that they have not got into the wrong hands. I thought they would be safe with the brother-in-law at the time and I thought they were helping me, I was in shock at just losing my partner and they just took over.
 
"The police said they would make enquiries but I have heard nothing since August.  The police seem to think it is a civil matter!!  Which I find unbelievable,  I have gone to them reporting all these missing firearms, I did not give my permission for them to all be sold, just for them to hold on to until such time they could be gone through properly as there was so many.
 
"Why can't the police at least find out who they were sold to and let me know?  I feel so responsible, I don't know how I allowed this to happen and for my own peace of mind I really do want to know where all those guns are.  Surely the police have the powers to trace them?  Or demand to see the receipts etc?  Do I have to wait until something serious happens?  Why is no one concerned?"
 
GCN is certainly concerned about the issues raised here.  The lack of activity by the police is extremely worrying.

If the guns are legal then appropriate processes should be followed and our correspondent's solicitor was surely obliged to advise her on these.  However, it sounds as though some of the weapons are illegal in the UK, and whether they've been sold by relatives or held in 'safe keeping' by them, they are still illegally held, and whoever the 'keepers' are they're liable to prosecution.  The police too have a duty to investigate this thoroughly.

We have suggested that it is important for our correspondent to write a letter to her Chief Constable giving him:-

1. details of the missing weapons,
2. the name and address of her partner's brother in law and nephew
3. the address from where the firearms were removed
4. the dates they were removed
5. the date you first contacted the Police, and asking to know the outcome of his investigations.

We will be following up this case.  We have no idea what has happened to the guns but our correspondent is right to be worried that the guns, legal or illegal, could have fallen into the wrong hands and the police appear to have shown little concern.

Henley-on-Thames, 3 November 2006

A mother from Oxfordshire wrote to us because we had not seen a report about her son's shooting with an air rifle.  We have now added the incident to the list for April 2006.  The incident was another serious airgun incident involving a young teenager, and we believe it is important to provide more details.  We also consider it important to highlight the continuing complacency shown towards these potentially lethal weapons.  The victim was shot by another boy (both were aged 13) whose parent was in the house at the time and had allowed him to have the gun (it was a gift three weeks before).  The boy thought it would be fun to threaten the victim before shooting.  The shot boy's mother was told that he would not survive, but fortunately some of the pellet was removed from the his brain during emergency brain surgery.  Most of the pellet remains embedded further into his skull.  CPS decided that although they noted that the shooting was not an accident and that it passed the evidential test that they would not take the boy to court but gave him a "Final Warning".  They said that it did not pass the public interest criteria.  The police have had nothing to say.

 

Also see Letters sent to MPs by parents of other young airgun victims.

Keswick, October 2006

A correspondent wrote to us expressing concern about a shop in Keswick, Cumbria, that sells toys on the ground floor and fishing rods and rifles on the upper floor.  Whilst recognising that this is legal, she points out that only a scruffy notice deterred unaccompanied children from going upstairs.  She writes "surely the very fact that children see toys and guns being sold in the same shop must send out the wrong sort of message".

Stoke-on-Trent, 19 June 2006

Three pellets were fired into a new van as our correspondent was driving down a road in the Stoke-on-Trent area.  Had the passenger window been open he thinks his wife would have been injured.  He believes that the three pellets hit the van so quickly that three different air rifles were fired.

Derby, 18 May 2006

A correspondent wrote to ask if GCN had heard of any shooting incidents in the Derby area.  Her father's car had the rear window shot out on 10 May as he travelled home from work.  A bullet hole was found in the back seat head rest.  The matter was reported to the police but nothing was done and no officer had come to see the family.

 

SCOTLAND

Kirkcaldy, 26 May 2006

We were contacted by the daughter of a man who died from a shotgun wound to the head at an activity centre in 2004.  Here is her account of what happened.

Fatal Accident Inquiry into Death at Shooting Range

"A fatal accident inquiry is set to take place at Sheriff Courthouse, Whytecauseway, Kirkcaldy on the 20-22 June 2006 to investigate the death of JM, aged 57, who died from a shotgun wound to the head in 2004 at Cluny Clays Activity Centre in Kirkcaldy, Fife.

"JM died on the 2nd November 2004 after visiting the Activity Centre whilst suffering from severe depression.  Despite having had his gun licence revoked by the police several months prior to shooting himself at the range, he was given access to a shotgun without any proof of identity.

"JM left home at 3.30 pm on the 2nd November 2004, yet he was not declared dead until 7.12 pm.  He would have died between 3.45 and 7.12 pm (coroner's report).  It is feared that during this time there was scope for others to be injured or for the gun to be taken off the premises.

"Cluny Clays Activity Centre sells family tickets and offers to host children's parties."

The fatal accident inquiry is taking place in August (see Incidents).

 

WALES

Cardiff, 17 May 2006

We received a message from a concerned mother with a disabled daughter in St Mellons, Cardiff, who has experienced anti-social behaviour outside her home.  She described how a youth, aged about 18, had a gun in close proximity to her house.    She had reported the same youth with a gun a month or so earlier.  On the second occasion he was heard to ask other youths whether anyone wanted to buy it and fired it (this was video taped by our correspondent).  Although it was reported to the police nothing was done.  They did decide it was a BB gun but it is now being described as a toy gun.  Our correspondent believed, correctly, that it is an offence to brandish a gun in a public place but no action has been taken.  Her local councillor was totally aware of the gun incidents but he had not returned her call.  She has also written to the Chief Constable but had not received a reply.  Only her A.M. had responded.  Her experience raises concerns about the degree of seriousness with which some authorities treat the brandishing of weapons on our streets.

INCIDENTS INVOLVING ANIMALS

Willingale, Essex, 30 August 2006

We were contacted by a correspondent about an incident in which a domestic cat had its front leg shot off by lampers on a truck using a high powered .22 rifle on farmland next to houses in Willingale.  The lampers are causing great alarm among residents and are not being policed at all.

Essex, 16 June 2006 *

A correspondent wrote to us describing how her cat had been shot recently with an airgun.  The cat could not survive the injuries.  Her vet commented that in 30 years of practice he had never seen such severe injuries from an airgun pellet.  It had penetrated his lung, diaphragm, liver, spleen, both kidneys and several parts of the bowel.  The police have seized a weapon from the person suspected and are working with the RSPCA to pursue a prosecution.   See Personal Accounts 2007 for an Update).

Kensal Green, London, April 2006

Letter from a correspondent:

"In early February my cat was shot in the leg with an airgun by my neighbour. The shot broke both bones of her foreleg, leaving the pellet lodged in the bone. She underwent an operation and an external metal rod was fitted; she was in a full leg cast for six weeks and now faces a long and painful recovery. This incident has damaged my cat for life and caused a huge amount of trauma, stress, and anxiety (as well as expense) for myself.
 
"This man has been seen shooting and killing squirrels in his back garden and he has also half-blinded a neighbourhood cat by shooting it through the eye. I'm now certain that a dead magpie found in my garden a few months ago, whose cause of death mystified me at the time, was another unlucky victim of his target practice.
 
"I reported the incident to the police and gave them the pellet removed from my cat's leg. They finally went to talk to my neighbour and confiscated his airgun; both gun and pellet will be sent for forensic analysis to see whether the two can be linked. Originally I was told by the police that if the two can be linked they could criminally prosecute him; however I was told today that the CPS have looked at the case and decided he can't be criminally convicted because a cat doesn't count as my property. Instead the case will then pass to an RSPCA inspector who will look into the matter as a case of animal cruelty, and I could then pursue a civil suit.
 
"I am galled by the fact that the lax gun laws do not allow the police to prosecute this man. That, and the fact that the CPS have ruled that my cat doesn't count as a personal possession, means that I have no recourse in law to seeing this man punished and having him compensate me for at least my financial costs (£2,000 for vets bills and associated costs).
 
"It's clear that the only solution to this kind of wicked and irresponsible behaviour is a complete ban on airguns in a city or populated area. These guns are not kids' toys but potentially lethal weapons that cause thousands of injuries each year (both to people and animals), as well as untold cases of animal cruelty and death. The current law that allows people to shoot guns in their own back gardens gives them virtually a free hand to do what they like, especially if they know they can't be prosecuted for injuring or killing someone's pets.
 
"Guns of whatever kind have no place in a civilized society. The government seems very keen on helping communities feel safe, but I don't see them addressing this problem -- which is all the more rampant because the perpetrators can carry out their acts of cruelty with impunity in the eyes of the law."

 

 

 

 

 

GUN INCIDENTS 2014

October Incidents

October Sentences

September Incidents

September Sentences

September Review

August Incidents/Sentences

February Incidents

February Sentences

January Incidents

January Sentences

 

GUN INCIDENTS 2013

December Incidents

December Sentences

Nov/December Review

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November Sentences

October Incidents

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October Review

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September Review

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August Review

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June Sentences

June Review

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April/May Review

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March Review

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February Sentences

February Review

January Incidents

January Sentences

January Review

 

GUN INCIDENTS 2012

December Incidents

December Sentences

November Incidents

November Sentences

October/November Review

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October Sentences

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September Sentences

September Review

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August Sentences

August Review

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June Sentences

June Review

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April/May Review

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April Sentences

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March Sentences

March Review

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February Sentences

February Review

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January Sentences

January Review

 

GUN INCIDENTS 2011

December Incidents

November Incidents

November Sentences

November Review

October Incidents

October Sentences

October Review

September Incidents

September Sentences

September Review

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July Incidents

July Sentences

July Review

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June Review

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May Review

March Incidents

March Review

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February Review

January Incidents

January Review

 

GUN INCIDENTS 2010

December Incidents

December Review

November Incidents

November Review

October Incidents

October Review

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September Review

August Incidents

August Review

July Incidents

July Review

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June Review

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May Review

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April Review

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March Review

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February Summary

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January Summary

 

PREVIOUS INCIDENTS

2009 Incidents

2009 Summaries

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2008 Summaries

2007 Incidents

2007 Summaries

2006 Incidents

2006 Summaries

2005 Incidents

2005 Summaries

2004 Incidents

2004 Summaries

(Sept - Dec)

2003 Incidents

2002 Incidents

2001 Incidents

 

Personal Stories