Eight men charged in connection with shooting and arson attacks in Sunderland

Police forensic officers at the scene of a shooting in Hylton Castle in September 2016.
Police forensic officers at the scene of a shooting in Hylton Castle in September 2016.

Eight people have been charged in connection with a shooting, arson attacks and the supply of drugs in Sunderland.

On Wednesday morning an operation was carried out to target organised criminal groups suspected to be involved in a series of arson attacks, drug supply and a shooting of a window in the Hylton Castle area of the city in September 2016.

Warrants were executed at 12 addresses across Sunderland and a total of 18 people were arrested.

Now eight of those people have been charged. They are:

Tony Wayne Trott, 28, of South Terrace, Sunderland, who has been charged with possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and possession of a prohibited weapon.

Lee Barnett, 41, Throston Grange, Hartlepool, who has been charged with possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and possession of a prohibited weapon.

James Lee Ratcliffe, 33, of HMP Durham, who has been charged with conspiring to possess a firearm with intent to endanger life.

Anthony Sweeney, 30, of Spout Lane, Washington, who has been charged with possesion of a prohibited weapon.

Paul Kennedy, 20, of Seaham Street, Sunderland, who has been charged with possesion of a prohibited weapon.

Philip Steabler, 39, of Thorndale Road, Sunderland, who has been charged with assisting an offender.

Alan Smart, 39, of Shrewsbury Crescent, Sunderland, who has been charged with two counts of arson and two counts of arson with intent to endanger life.

And David Roberts, 53, of Sorley Street, Sunderland, who has been charged with two counts of arson with intent to endanger life.

Six of those charged have already appeared in North Tyneside Magistrates Court this morning.

Four have been remanded while Paul Kennedy and Philip Steabler were released on bail.

Alan Smart and David Roberts were due to appear at the same court this afternoon.

The other 10 people arrested have been released under investigation pending further enquiries by police.

Anyone who has any information about the activity of the ongoing investigation should contact police on 101 quoting log 64 14/06/17 or Crimestoppers anonumously on 0800 555 111.