Two men have been locked up over a ‘harebrained’ scheme in which they fired a homemade shotgun at an enemy in the street after running him off the road.
Barry Carritt was locked up for ten years after a jury heard a cartridge was fired from the improvised weapon during the incident in Leeds.
Carritt recruited his pal Rory Payne to help him carry out the attack on Douglas Walden in September last year.
Leeds Crown Court heard Carritt and Payne were high on cannabis when they rammed Mr Walden’s Seat vehicle off the road with their VW Polo.
Mr Walden got out of his vehicle then smashed the defendants’ car windows with a baseball bat.
The incident took place near to shops at Cramner Bank, just off the Ring Road, and was witnessed by members of the public who contacted police.
Payne then drove the Polo at Mr Walden’s car and he was knocked to the ground.
As he was on the ground the shotgun was discharged into the air.
The jury heard a shotgun cartridge was discharged from the weapon, which had been fashioned from two metal poles.
Mr Walden was not hit by the shot and no damage was caused to property.
Carritt, of Tynwald Drive, Moor Allerton, was found guilty of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.
Payne, 22, of Whingate Mill, Armley, was found guilty of possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence and dangerous driving.
Payne was jailed for seven and a half years.
The court heard that the background to the incident was a fallout between Carritt and Mr Walden.
The two men had been friends for ten years before becoming rivals.
During the trial Carritt told the jury that Mr Walden been “terrorising” him and his family.
Sentencing Carritt, judge Rodney Jameson, QC, told him: “I do not believe for one moment you would have confronted Douglas Walden alone.
“He would have laughed at you.
“You needed support and you went to Rory Payne.”
The judge added: “(Mr Walden’s) friendship was a benefit to you when you were friends.
“It was a curse when it was no longer the case.
“You took upon yourself a harebrained scheme.
“How someone in your position, with your responsibilities, could turn to offending of this seriousness is beyond belief.
“To get yourself out of the frying pan, you have found yourself in the fire.”
Rukhshanda Hussain, for Carritt, said the weapon was used to fire a “warning shot” and there had been no intention to aim it at Mr Walden.
Michael Collins, for Payne, said his client became involved in the incident to try to scare Mr Walden.
After the case, Detective Inspector Andy Farrell, who led the investigation, said: “These men have been convicted of firearms offences that played out on residential streets when they targeted a rival as part of a criminal feud.
“The significant sentences they have received are an excellent result for the community and we hope this will send a very clear message to others of the penalties they can expect for crimes of this nature.
“A comprehensive investigation by specialist detectives built up a detailed picture of their involvement in these offences and resulted in their convictions.
“The criminal use of firearms on our streets cannot be tolerated and we will continue to do everything we can to proactively target those involved in this type offending and keep our communities safe.”
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