Danny Stevens: Boy, 17, sentenced to eight years' detention for shooting teenager in Hampshire
A 17-year-old boy has been sentenced to more than eight years' detention for shooting a teenager in a dispute over a fatal road accident.
Danny Stevens, who was 17 at the time, was severely injured and remains paralysed from the waist down following the incident in Hearsey Gardens, Blackwater, Hampshire, on February 10 2018.
The defendant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was cleared by a jury of attempted murder but found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.
The trial heard there had been tensions between the defendant and Mr Stevens, now 19, following the road accident in 2017.
Andy Houston, prosecuting, said the defendant was in a car that was involved in the crash in which another young man died.
Mr Houston said: ‘Danny Stevens was a friend of that young man who died. There was clearly tension between (the defendant) and Danny Stevens.’
The prosecutor said phone messages suggested that the defendant's mother had been assaulted by Mr Stevens on the day before the shooting.
Mr Houston said: ‘That may be the reason he shot him, in revenge.’
The prosecutor told Bristol Crown Court that Mr Stevens had not provided a victim impact statement but is suffering ongoing medical problems from being shot.
Richard Barraclough QC, defending, said the defendant has been assessed for post-traumatic stress disorder - linked to the fatal car crash - since being in custody.
‘I am told by the youth offending team he has had a history of panic attacks,’ he said.
Mr Barraclough urged the court to reflect the age of the defendant in the sentence he receives.
‘What might not be taken into account too much in the case of an adult can be well taken into account when looking at youth,’ he said.
‘We submit that looking at the sentencing guidelines there was no significant degree of premeditation because there was a reaction.
‘It was a reaction to Danny Stevens's attack upon his family. This was not someone that was planning to confront Danny Stevens.’
He added: ‘What has happened to the defendant over the last two years has caused him to mature rapidly.’
Mr Justice Garnham sentenced the defendant to eight years and 10 weeks' youth custody, which was reduced by 40 per cent to take into account his age.
‘You fired twice and the second shot hit Mr Stevens,’ he said.
‘It has left him severely disabled and in permanent pain. He is paralysed from the waist down. He will never walk again.
‘I accept there was some provocation from the assaults upon your family. Your response to that provocation was grossly disproportionate.
‘It was a reaction out of all proportion to the threat you perceived he posed to you and your family.
‘You shot at him quite deliberately with the intention to cause him really serious injury. In my judgment using a gun and inflicting such profound injury takes this to the very top of the guidelines.’
Samantha Binfield, 51, of Hearsey Gardens, Blackwater, and Glen Johnson, 43, of no fixed address, will face a retrial after the jury were unable to reach verdicts in relation to an allegation of assisting an offender.