Judge tells burglars being shot is 'the chance you take' as pair jailed for Welby cottage break-in
A judge told two burglars that being shot was the "chance you take" if you break into a house where the owner has a gun.
Judge Michael Pert yesterday jailed Joshua O'Gorman and Daniel Mansell, right, for four years each for the break-in at Welby Grange Farm in Welby, near Melton.
Both men suffered shotgun injuries after smashing their way into the home of Andy and Tracey Ferrie in the early hours of September 2.
The terrified couple were woken by the noise and went downstairs to find three masked intruders in the kitchen.
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Mrs Ferrie, 43, handed Mr Ferrie, 35, a legitimately-held shotgun.
Leicester Crown Court heard that as one of the burglars reached for a drawer where knives were kept, Mr Ferries fired the gun.
O'Gorman (27) was hit on the right side of his face and Mansell (33) shot in his right hand.
The raiders fled and Mr Ferries called the police.
The traumatised couple were then arrested and held for 40 hours, before being released without charge.
Sentencing, Judge Pert said: "Being shot is not mitigation.
"If you burgle a house in the country, where the householder owns and legally possesses a shotgun, that's the chance you take.
"You can't come to this court and ask for a lighter sentence on the grounds of it.
"You deliberately targeted an isolated house and had to make your way across fields.
"There was a significant degree of planning.
"You went in a group, with at least four, if not more."
Both men, who were arrested at Leicester Royal Infirmary, where they went for treatment, admitted the house burglary.
In interview, Mansell told police they believed drugs and cash totalling £170,000 were at the cottage, which they expected to be empty.
Alan Murphy, prosecuting, told the court: "There's no foundation to that whatsoever. There were no drugs or cash."
The victims described the intruders as wearing masks, but Mansell claimed they just had T-shirts over their faces.
In the dock, O'Gorman, of The Wayne Way, Leicester, had a red facial scar from the gunshot injury.
Mansell, of Harrowden Rise, Crown Hills, Leicester, had his right arm in a sling.
Both defendants were on early release licence at the time of the burglary.
In 2009, O'Gorman, a father of one, was jailed for three years for grievous bodily harm with intent.
He was jailed for 14 months for dangerous driving in August last year and released on March 2 this year.
In a letter read out by his counsel, O'Gorman said he was sorry and ashamed for his self-centred actions.
The letter said: "Getting shot has changed my whole outlook and changed me for the good.
"I'm a hardworking man and live life to the max and want to put it behind me."
O'Gorman suffered a fractured cheek bone and has blurred vision and deafness on his right side, with impaired balance.
His barrister, Andrew Fryman, said: "It was a near-death experience, shot as he was, without warning. It's a form of summary justice to be taken into consideration."
Mansell, a father of four and stepfather to his partner's four other children, was jailed for six years in 2009 for wounding with intent and released in May last year.
He also has previous convictions for robbery, wounding, and house burglary.
Donal Lawler, mitigating, said: "He's grateful to be here for sentence and is aware he could have faced graver consequences for his conduct.
"He was expecting to burgle an empty property and was shocked when it wasn't. It was a fast-moving series of events.
"He's been unable to break free of connections that have sadly dogged his life.
"He feels there's no excuse for what he's done."