Boy, 13, shot friend in Wrexham air rifle attack


Rebecca Cole

A BOY has admitted shooting his friend, causing injuries which could have killed her.

The 13-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, admitted possessing an imitation firearm, a 22-calibre air rifle, in public and wounding after he hospitalised a 14-year-old girl.

Wrexham Youth Court heard the youth aimed the gun at the victim and two friends while they were walking down Sycamore Road in Caia Park on December 18, causing one of them to run away in terror.

The victim was then shot in the back of her thigh as she tried to walk away.
The pellet drew blood and became lodged in the girl’s leg.

When she visited hospital it was found to be dangerously close to an artery.

Presiding magistrate Lloyd Fitzhugh described it as a ‘horrible incident’ and asked the boy: “Do you realise what might have happened if the pellet had hit the artery?

She would have bled to death.

“Do you realise that’s how serious this is?”

Alun Humphries, prosecuting, said the youth then ran up to the girl laughing and asked if he had hit her and when she said yes the boy asked the other friend to shoot him too before continuing to fire the gun at buildings and a CCTV camera.

When confronted by the victim’s mother the boy admitted what he had done but said “so what?”.

He then told her to get her older son to “give him a hiding”.

The hearing was told the boy had been given the gun, which had been stolen shortly before the incident, the day before.

He also admitted handling stolen goods after a co-accused 14-year-old, who also cannot be named, pleaded guilty to breaking into a garage in Hullah Lane, Caia Park, on October 27 and stealing two bikes, a mountain bike and a Chopper-style bike, worth £320.

The 13-year-old was spotted riding around Caia Park on the distinctive ‘Chopper’ which had been sprayed black.

Andrew Holliday, defending both boys, said they hung around together in the same group but the parents had tried to keep them apart since and the 14-year-old’s behaviour had improved ‘drastically’.

Mr Holliday said: “The distance that’s been driven between this group has resulted in his school attendance and behaviour improving on the whole.”

The 13-year-old had been kept in custody since December 21 but Mr Holliday put some of his behaviour down to naivety and immaturity.

“He comes across as younger than 13,” he said.

“He admits shooting the girl but I do not think he intended the harm that was caused.”

Neither boy had an official record but both had been given police warnings and been arrested on previous occasions.

As a result magistrates were told punishment was severely limited because both youths were under 15 and were not repeat offenders.

The 14-year-old was handed a four month referral order for the burglary and ordered to pay a £15 victim surcharge and £65 court costs.

The 13-year-old was given a stiffer eight month referral order with a £15 victim surcharge and ordered to pay £300 compensation to the victim.

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