A gun-wielding gang who burst into a man’s home then beat him so hard he suffered a bleed to his brain have been jailed.
The four men, all wearing balaclavas, broke into the victim’s home off Leeman Road at around 12.40pm on Monday 4 May 2020.
They pointed their firearm at the victim and fired blank rounds into his face and groin.
They then used the weapon to hit him on the head, as well as punching and kicking him as he lay on the floor before fleeing the scene.
The gun was fake but the victim had no way of knowing that, in what North Yorkshire Police described as “a terrifying attack”.
Police went to the scene after receiving several reports of shots being fired in the area.
They discovered the victim with a head injury and blood dripping down his face and accompanied him to hospital.
The victim suffered bleeding and swelling to his brain and had to spend a considerable time in hospital, and then at a rehabilitation centre. The attack has also caused memory problems and flashbacks.
Benjamin Roach, 34, Ben Adam Cairns, 36, Robinson Peter Fitch Binks, 26, Ciaran James Angell, 29, all from York, were sentenced at York Crown Court yesterday (Friday 9 June) for the attack.
CCTV evidence gathered was invaluable in helping to identify the defendants.
This included footage of the attackers arriving in the area, the vehicles they used, as well as them fleeing the scene at around the time of the incident.
Forensic evidence recovered from the scene included fingerprints belonging to Cairns and Angell.
DNA was recovered from blanks fired at the scene matching that of Roach.
The victim’s blood was found on footwear and a jacket belonging to Angell, which matched the ones worn by him captured on the CCTV footage.
A Crime Scene Investigator found fingerprints, identified as belonging to Binks, on an item in one of the vehicles identified through CCTV.
Roach, who had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to wounding with intent to commit grievous bodily harm and possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause a fear of violence, was jailed for seven years and four months.
Cairns, Binks and Angell were due to contest the charges, but they changed their pleas ahead of a trial in March.
Cairns received custodial sentence of five years and four months. He has also been made subject of Proceeds of Crime Act application in relation to conspiracy to supply the Class B drug, amphetamine.
Both Binks and Angell got 14 months’ imprisonment, of which Angell will serve consecutively with his current prison sentence for other offences.
Detective Constable Alex Dorlin, of York and Selby CID, said: “This attack was clearly very traumatic for the victim who suffered a brain injury as a result.
“He actually knew the suspects and didn’t want to give evidence. He had to be summoned by the court to ensure his attendance, which can be done in certain circumstances.”
DC Dorlin added: “The four defendants were far from being criminal masterminds, by any stretch of the imagination.
“They left a trail of evidence behind them, enabling us to piece together the events as well as providing enough proof to charge them, resulting in four guilty pleas.
“As well as the Forensic Services, our Analyst Team provided invaluable support to the investigation.
“They were able to attribute specific phones to the defendants, helping investigators track their movements – placing them at the scene of the crime at the time of the offence.”
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