Welby shooting: Judges dismiss sentencing appeals by injured burglars
Judges have told two burglars shot by a homeowner as they raided his Leicestershire cottage that their injuries cannot earn them a shorter prison sentence.
Daniel Mansell (33) and Joshua O'Gorman (28) were blasted by Andy Ferrie as he defended his home in Welby, near Melton, during a "terrifying and dramatic" raid last year.
They were both jailed for four years at Leicester Crown Court in October after they admitted burglary – but refused to give up their fellow raiders.
Yesterday, they appealed the jail terms with their lawyers, arguing the sentencing judge in Leicester failed to take sufficient account of their mitigation, including the injuries and trauma they suffered as a result of being fired upon.
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But senior judges at London's Court of Appeal rejected the challenge, saying the pair's gunshot wounds could not justify a lighter punishment.
Lord Justice Goldring said their appeals were "wholly without merit". He said: "The fact the appellants were injured does not provide a point of mitigation.
"For Mr and Mrs Ferrie, this must have been something of a terrifying and dramatic experience."
Lord Justice Goldring told the court that Mansell, O'Gorman and two more masked men broke into the cottage just after midnight on September 2 last year, waking Mr Ferrie and his wife, Tracey, in their bed.
Mrs Ferrie handed her husband their lawfully-kept shotgun as he went downstairs to confront the intruders. He found one of the raiders, believed to be O'Gorman, reaching for a knife, the appeal judge added.
Lord Justice Goldring said: "Mr Ferrie fired the shotgun. O'Gorman was hit in the face and injured. Mansell was hit in the arm and injured."
The burglars ran off, but O'Gorman and Mansell were later arrested after seeking treatment at a hospital.
Mansell, of Harrowden Rise, Crown Hills, Leicester, told police he mistakenly believed the cottage was a drugs den from which he expected to snatch substances worth up to £170,000.
O'Gorman, of Wayne Way, Crown Hills, Leicester, denied going to the property as part of the burglary, but the pair eventually pleaded guilty.
Both men had previous convictions – Mansell for house burglary, robbery and wounding with intent, and O'Gorman for wounding with intent – and both were on licence at the time of the raid.
Lord Justice Goldring, who was sitting with Mr Justice Underhill and Judge Charles Wide QC, said: "This was a deliberate, targeted burglary of an isolated house in the country. It was a burglary at night, a significant degree of planning was involved, a group was involved.
"It is said that it was believed the house was empty. Be that as it may, face coverings of some sort were worn. Each of the men was on licence from prison, each had significant previous convictions, albeit in O'Gorman's case not for dwelling house burglary.
"Although each had expressed remorse, we observe this had not gone so far as to the naming any of the others involved.
"In our view, the sentencing judge was entirely justified in taking the starting point he did. He reduced it appropriately for the only significant mitigation – namely their early guilty pleas. In all the circumstances, we refuse these appeals."