Men jailed for total of 23 years after violent burglary where victim was shot

Thomas Dale. Picture: Suffolk Police.

Thomas Dale. Picture: Suffolk Police. - Credit: Archant

Two men have been jailed for a total of 23 years following an aggravated burglary in Lowestoft which left a man with significant gunshot injuries.

Daniel Howarth. Picture: Suffolk Police.

Daniel Howarth. Picture: Suffolk Police. - Credit: Archant

At the sentencing at Ipswich Crown Court today, Thomas Dale, aged 20, received a jail term of 14 years, while Daniel Howarth, aged 26, was given nine years in prison.

Emma Hales and Hayley Capps, both aged 31, received 17 months imprisonment, suspended for 24 months.

The incident happened on Sunday, August 27, 2017, when at around 1.20pm police received reports of an injured man seen staggering in the High Street in the town.

Officers attended but were unable to locate the injured man. They began extensive forensic, house to house and CCTV enquiries, and discovered a damaged front door of a flat in the High Street. Inside, officers seized items including a firearm, gas canister and metal bar.

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: SIMON PARKER

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: SIMON PARKER - Credit: Archant

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The victim - a man in his 30s – subsequently made contact with police. He confirmed that two men and two women had come to his home address. A quantity of cash was stolen and the victim sustained significant injuries including gunshot wounds to his back and neck, which required surgery to remove multiple pellets.

On September 12, police arrested four people in connection with the incident.

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Dale, of no fixed abode, was charged with attempted murder and aggravated burglary. Howarth, of Carlton Square in Carlton Colville, Hales, of Denmark Road, Lowestoft and Capps, of St Edmunds Crescent, Kessingland, were all charged with aggravated burglary.

Dale pleaded guilty to committing grievous bodily harm with intent and aggravated burglary.

The three other defendants denied the charges and appeared at Ipswich Crown Court on March 5 for the beginning of the trial. On the first day of the hearing Howarth pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary. On March 7, Hales and Capps pleaded guilty to burglary.

Detective Inspector Matthew Adams said: 'This was a premeditated, violent and targeted attack on a victim who knew two of the four defendants before the incident.

'The offenders went to a flat where the victim had been staying, intent on stealing from him and Dale arrived at the premises armed with a firearm. 'During a violent confrontation the victim was struck by Howarth with a metal bar and shot in the head by Dale at point blank range. The victim very bravely fought back against his attackers but later told detectives that he feared he was going to be killed.

'The victim suffered significant and lasting injuries but despite still having a pellet lodged in his neck he has made a very good recovery.'

He added: 'I would like to thank the victim for his bravery in coming forwards and praise the work of DC Richard Last and DS Jamie Rose for their meticulous attention to detail during this investigation.

'I hope the sentences imposed in this case act as a deterrent to other criminals who think it is acceptable to carry weapons and engage in violence.'

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