Two teenagers jailed for West Derby shooting

Two Liverpool teenagers have been sentenced to a total of 24 years in prison in connection with a shooting in West Derby last year.

Reece Martin, 19, of West Derby was sentenced to 12 years in prison plus five years on licence, for Possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life; Possession of a firearm; and Possession of ammunition.

Anthony Milton, 19, of Walton was sentenced to 12 years in prison plus five on licence, for Possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life; Possession of a firearm; and Possession of ammunition.

Both were sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court on Tuesday, 27 February.

At around 8.20am on Thursday, 19 October 2023, it was reported that shots had been fired at a house on Central Drive, causing damage to a wall and a window at the property. The following month, following extensive enquiries, Martin and Milton were arrested and charged. Casings recovered indicated the use of a Glock self-loading pistol.

Speaking after the sentencing, Detective Inspector John Mullen from the Merseyside Police Firearms Investigation Team said, “Today’s sentencing removes two dangerous people from the community, and should serve as a strong warning to anyone who would look to get involved in gun crime.

“To carry and use a gun can and will ruin lives, both of the victims and those offenders who make such a choice.

“In this case, the sheer recklessness of firing a weapon at a home is clear to see. We have tragically seen such incidents result in serious injuries and death in the past, and it is through luck alone that this was not the case in October. Martin and Milton will now begin a significant sentence, and the communities of North Liverpool are undoubtedly safer as a result.

“Our team proactively and relentlessly investigates all such serious incidents, as well as assessing and acting on all information we receive about the storage and movement of firearms in Merseyside. Such information is vital to removing criminals and weapons from the streets, and this often comes from those communities who feel the harm of serious and organised crime.

“Through this collective effort, shootings in Merseyside are at their lowest number in over two decades. This is a significant reduction of over 50% in recorded discharges since 2019/2020, and is testament to the work of the force, in conjunction with its partners and communities, to tackle serious and organised crime. We know that any shooting is a risk, and are determined to keep this positive work going.

“Where people are willing to support the police, we will ensure every possible avenue is progressed to protect them.

“If you don’t feel comfortable coming directly to the police, you can call the independent, anonymous, Crimestoppers hotline on 0800 555 111.”

If you have any information about suspected firearms in your area, please contact @MerPolCC, 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Always call 999 if a crime is in progress.

An excerpt from the victim’s Victim Personal Statement is below

“I would like to address the two defendants.

“On that morning, both of you… decided to embark on a course of action that could have resulted in deaths. I have contemplated why you chose that specific day and time, and I believe it was to cause maximum damage.

“There must have been considerable planning involved. Why did you select just after 8am on a weekday? Why shoot directly into a bedroom window at that time? The choice of that specific moment suggests deliberate intent.

“The house where the shooting occurred has been a family home for 18 years – a place of safety and security. That is no longer the case. My family will not return, and the house is now up for sale. I also want to emphasise that we are not victims; we are stronger than ever. We have the strength in our convictions to put this behind us and move on. You do not share that ability; you will be spending a significant portion of your lives behind bars.

“To this day, we are still at a loss to understand why the house was targeted and why these two defendants were recruited. I suggest we will never get the answers.

“Finally, I address the message on the Instagram page where they call me a grass. I don’t live in your world and never will. Your opinion, for what it’s worth, means nothing. You have a code of silence, but I don’t, and many others don’t either. That’s your world, not mine.”

Image: Reece Martin (left) and Anthony Milton (right)

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