Armed gang jailed for 27 years over ‘shocking’ park shooting
- Credit: Archant
Two members of a masked, armed gang who ambushed a teenager and left him thinking he would die have been given combined sentences of 27 years.
The 19-year-old - a suspected county lines drug dealer - was shot in the buttocks during the attempted robbery in a Norwich park.
Kallum Eastall, 19, and Jake Brittain, 27, were part of the masked gang which ambushed the victim after luring him to the park off Adelaide Street, in the early hours of June 2018.
Ian James, prosecuting at Norwich Crown Court, said the 19-year-old from London made his way to the park on a bike when he was attacked by a gang of four men, three of whom were masked.
He said two were armed with knives and one had a shotgun.
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He said the victim was put to the floor and the four attackers demanded; "Give me what you have got."
Mr James said the shotgun was pointed at his face and said: "He believed he was going to be killed."
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Mr James said the victim thought he had nothing to lose by running away but as he fled he was shot in the lower back and buttocks.
The victim was wandering the street when people came to his help and he was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital where he underwent emergency surgery and had to have part of his bowel removed. He spent nine days in hospital.
Eastall and Brittain were later arrested at Eastall's home in Lilburne Avenue, in Norwich, and items used in the attempted robbery, including a knife and a balaclava, were recovered from the Citroen car which had been used as a getaway car.
Eastall and Brittain both admitted attempted robbery, having a firearm with intent to commit robbery, and possession of two 15-inch knives on June 27 2018.
Eastall was given an extended 13-year sentence with nine years custody and a four years extended licence.
Brittain was given a 14-year extended sentence with 10 years custody and four years extended licence.
Jailing them Judge Stephen Holt said that they both posed a risk of serious harm to the public.
Michael Clare, for Eastall, said: "This was a group of local young men who thought it would be a good idea to rob a drug dealer in the way they did."
He said Eastall did not know a shotgun was being brought to the attempted robbery and said: "He realises he has been foolish."
He said that Eastall had been trying to act as some sort of gangster, trying to get respect and said there was no suggestion it was he who discharged the firearm.
Andrew Oliver, for Brittain, said he had admitted having a knife along with Eastall but they had not been removed from the sheath and said he was unaware the shotgun was loaded.
He said he was shocked when the victim was shot and said: "It was something he would never have believed would have happened."
He added: "He is very sorry for the serious injury that was caused.
He said that Brittain had not worn any face covering and at the time of the offence he had been using crack cocaine and had got into debt.
The shooting triggered a wide-scale police investigation and led police to reassure the public that gun crime was not common in Norfolk.
Senior investigating officer Chris Burgess, of Norwich CID, said: "Serious violence involving guns is not common place in Norwich or Norfolk, so at the time of this incident the community were understandably shocked by what had happened."
He said he was pleased that both Eastall and Brittain had admitted their part in the attack, although neither admitted pulling the trigger.