'Not easy to solve who pulled the trigger' - two men admit attempted robbery in which teenager was shot
PUBLISHED: 13:44 02 July 2019 | UPDATED: 18:35 02 July 2019
Archant Norfolk 2018
Two men have admitted an attempted armed robbery in which a teenager was shot in the back at close range at a Norwich park.
Kallum Eastall, 18, and Jake Brittain, 26, both of no fixed address, had been charged with attempted murder over the shooting.
On the second day of their trial both admitted lesser charges of having a firearm with intent to commit a robbery, attempted robbery and carrying two knives on June 27 last year.
Ian James, prosecuting, said the pleas were acceptable as it would be difficult to prove who had wielded the weapon used to shoot the London teenager.
The 19-year-old victim told police he was attacked by four masked men shortly before 2am in the park off Adelaide Street.
Two carried 15-inch knives and one was carrying a shotgun.
As he turned to flee he was shot in the back.
Mr James said: "It seems to me any jury considering [attempted murder] would be asking themselves who it was that pulled the trigger.
"That can be a thorny question. The issue might not be easy to solve as to who actually pulled the trigger in this case.
"One has to consider whether it would be a good use of public time and money to pursue verdicts in relation to that count."
Attempted murder and an alternative charge of causing grievous bodily harm with intent were left unresolved by virtue of the guilty pleas this morning.
Neighbours had heard a gunshot around 2am on June 27 and some reported seeing a white hatchback fleeing the scene.
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The victim managed to stumble from the park to Adelaide Street where members of the public came to his aid.
At 10.15pm that night, patrol officers went in pursuit of a white Citroen C1 which failed to stop for them.
Eastall and Brittain - the occupants of the car - were arrested at Lilburne Avenue and two large knives were recovered. Clothing including gloves and balaclavas with shotgun residue on them were also seized.
On August 29, police were at an address on Bertie Road when they found a Browning double-barrel shotgun in the loft.
Fingerprints of a Liverpudlian named James Elliott were found on it.
On June 21 of this year he pleaded guilty to possessing the shotgun and being involved in the supply of cocaine.
Acting Detective Inspector Pete Wilson, officer in the case, said: "It is extremely rare that a firearm is used on the streets of Norwich, and certainly for anyone to be shot.
"We have accepted it would be difficult to prove who pulled the trigger, and we would have to show each individual involved was aware someone was going to get shot.
"With the evidence we have it would be a very difficult trial and with the seriousness of the offences that have been admitted we were happy with those pleas."
Two other men were identified as being in the park during the incident. One was discounted as having no involvement, and another was arrested but released without charge.
Judge Stephen Holt discharged the jury and remanded both men into custody.
Brittain and Eastall will be sentenced on September 9.