Life Sentence For Mistaken Identity Shooting
8th January 2016
A man found guilty of attempted murder and conspiracy to murder in Brighton in January last year has been jailed for life.
Adam Willis, 33, of no fixed address, was charged with attempting to murder a 40-year-old man and conspiracy to murder a 25 year old man in Elmore Road, Brighton, on 27 January. The jury returned their verdict on Thursday 10 December. Willis was remanded in custody and sentenced on Thursday (7 January) to life imprisonment with a recommendation that he will serve a minimum of 17-and-a-half years.
After nearly six days of deliberation, the jury could not reach a verdict on Spencer Bowen, 24, who was charged with attempting to murder a 40 year old man and conspiracy to murder a 25 year old man in Elmore Road, Brighton, on 27 January. He was also charged with committing grievous bodily harm.
Bowen, of Heathfield Avenue, Dover, Kent, was remanded in custody until his retrial next year.
Hayden Pendleton, 29, of Damwood Road, Liverpool, was found not guilty of attempted murder and conspiracy to murder by the jury on Wednesday 10 December.
The case against Lewis Carney, 27, of London Road, Dover, Kent, who was charged with conspiracy to murder was dropped at the start of the trial.
The trial at Hove Crown Court heard that a group of men mistakenly went to the wrong flat in Elmore Road on 27 January and fired a single shot through the front door after trying to force their way in.
This hit the 40-year-old victim who was taken by ambulance to the Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton, for treatment to his injuries, which were serious but not life threatening. Armed officers were deployed to the scene but the suspects had fled.
Detective Chief Inspector Paul Rymarz, of the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team, who led the investigation said: "Organised criminals armed with a loaded shotgun were seeking to target a man who was not at the property. An innocent man was instead subjected to a shocking and frightening unprovoked attack at his home.
"I am pleased with the sentence which reflects the seriousness of the offence. This has been a long and complex investigation with officers supporting the victim and also the man who we believed to be the intended target. I would like to pay particular tribute to the victim of the attack, who showed significant bravery and the entire investigation team who have worked so tirelessly on the case since January last year."
Pictured is Adam Willis