Merseyside Police has welcomed the sentencing of three men after another man was shot in broad daylight last year as he waited in the McDonalds Drive Thru.
David Pugh, 32 of Woolfall Crescent, Huyton was found guilty of grievous bodily harm and possession of a firearm and was sentenced to 15 years and 9 months behind bars
James Nolan, 31, of Thomas Drive, Prescot was found guilty of grievous bodily harm and was sentenced to 7 years and 6 months behind bars.
James O’Neil, 33, of Leyfield Road, Liverpool found guilty of assisting an offender and was sentenced to 17 months behind bars.
All three appeared at Liverpool Crown Court yesterday afternoon.
Detective Chief Inspector Matt Smith from our Firearms Investigation Team said, “I remain hugely grateful to everyone that came forward and shared information to help us catch the people responsible. I hope this result shows the positive affects you can have by simply supporting police investigations.”
The shooting happened at around 5:30pm on 18th June 2020 at the McDonalds restaurant on Welton Road, Bromborough.
Whilst collecting his food, the 21 year old was shot in the leg by Pugh who boldly walked up to the window of the car, pulling a gun out and opening fire at the victim who was sat in the passenger seat at the time.
Just two days later on 20th June, following extensive CCTV, dashcam and forensic enquiries, Pugh was arrested for the offence and later charged.
Later, on 26th June, both Nolan and O’Neil were arrested and charged.
Yesterday they were all sentenced for a total of 24 years and 8 months imprisonment.
DCI Smith added: “There are multiple victims who have suffered as a result of these men. The victim himself, the staff and other customers at McDonalds and the wider community as a whole.
“Unfortunately, the victim has not been entirely cooperative with our investigations, which although proves some difficulties, hasn’t stopped us from finding these men and luckily for us, there were plenty of witnesses. They were more than happy to help us by providing dashcam footage and speaking to officers so that we could quickly take these dangerous men and weapons off our streets.
“The community are at the heart of all our investigations and we will not stop until we can be sure they’re safe.
“This shooting took place in the early evening, at a busy and popular restaurant. It could have so easily been a different story should an innocent person have gotten caught in the crossfire. This makes our work in the Firearms Investigation Team even more important because each time we can remove someone linked to gun crime, we make our streets safer, children can play out and everyone living and working in the area can do so feeling safe and secure.
“Please be reminded that when a shooting takes place, we’ll work around the clock to ensure the people responsible are caught, with or without the help of victims. So please keep supporting what we are doing and I promise that you will see the difference where you live.”
District Crown Prosecutor Keith Drummond of CPS Mersey-Cheshire, said: “It is often the case that the Crown Prosecution Service will pursue a case without the support of the victim. There can be a misconception amongst the public that a person can make an allegation and then retract it, assuming the case will then be dropped. However the CPS does not only take account of the views of the victim, we are also required to act in the wider public interest.
“When we reach a decision about whether to bring a criminal charge, two key stages must be met, as set out in The Code for Crown Prosecutors. There must be enough evidence for there to be a reasonable prospect of a conviction on that charge and the prosecution must be in the public interest.
“If the prosecution has sufficient, credible, reliable and admissible evidence then the case will continue as long as it is in the public interest to do so. In this case there was enough evidence without the support of the victim and it was clearly in the public interest to prosecute in order to keep our streets safe, bring the offenders to justice and to send out a clear message that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated in a civilised society.”