Gunman admits shooting boy, 15, in head as victim rode on motorbike in Sunderland street

Steven Thompson
Steven Thompson

A gunman had admitted shooting a 15-year-old boy in the head.

Steven Thompson targeted the teen, who was riding pillion on a motorbike, at Hewitt Avenue, Sunderland, last October and left him in a critical

The victim, who suffered a serious head wound, was treated at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, where he was placed in an induced coma.

It was a week before his condition stabilised and he regained consciousness.

The rider of the motorbike was not injured.

At Newcastle Crown Court Thompson, 39, of Hewitt Avenue, pleaded guilty to a charge of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and one of possession of a firearm, a powerful .25 caliber air rifle, without a firearms certificate.

His barrister Joe Hedworth told the court: "He understands the inevitable sentence but the court may be assisted by a full pre-sentence report."

Judge Robert Spragg adjourned the case until April 25 to allow a report to be prepared.

Judge Spragg remanded Thompson in custody in the meantime and told him: "You understand, custody is inevitable in this matter but the report may assist
with the length of that sentence in due course."

Members of the victim's family, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were in court to see Thompson enter the guilty pleas.

No update was given to the court about the boy's current condition.

Police at the scene in Hewitt Avenue

Police at the scene in Hewitt Avenue