Man’s drunk gun attack on teenager

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A GUNMAN who shot a boy in the street had been battling alcoholism since he was a toddler, a court heart.

Stuart Wardle, 22, of Siddal View, Siddal, was jailed for two years and eight months after admitting shooting the 16-year-old boy with an air rifle.

The court heard he was drunk at the time – and had been addicted to alcohol from a young age after his family fed him booze to “subdue him”.

Stephen Wood, mitigating, said Wardle – who had 29 previous convictions including breaching an Asbo three times – knew his offending had “its roots in the addiction he has fought through his childhood, his teens and now into early adulthood”.

The court heard the 16-year-old victim was walking with a group of friends on Ovenden Road on December 11 last year when they passed Wardle walking the opposite way carrying an air rifle in both hands.

Heather Gilmore, prosecuting, said Wardle was wearing a camouflage jacket and the group of boys were scared as it looked like a real rifle.

As the group passed him, one looked back and saw the defendant had stopped.

She said: “He was holding the rifle in what looked like an aiming positing, looking through the scope and he fired the gun.” The teenager felt a pain in his hip and the pellet went through his jeans, leaving a mark on his skin.

The court heard the group could hear Wardle laughing as they fled the scene and called the police.

Wardle was caught – still carrying the rifle – five minutes later and he was drunk.

He admitted possession of an imitation firearm and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The court heard the incident happened just five days after he was sentenced to a community order for battery.