Man jailed after drive-by shooting at Sunderland home

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A TERRIFIED mum feared for the safety of herself and her young daughter when a gunman targeted her home in a drive-by shooting.

Ross Crichton fired a .22 air rifle at the woman’s bedroom window as she cowered behind the curtain in the early hours of the morning.

Newcastle Crown Court heard she had been woken by the sound of a car outside her Sunderland home on July 10 and saw the 23-year-old standing at the open driver’s door of a Nissan Quashqai, holding a rifle. Prosecutor Paul Rowland said: “She felt threatened, she felt terrified.

“After a few seconds she heard a bang and the sound of something hitting the window.”

The court heard there was a chip in the bedroom window where the weapon had been fired but the mum and her little girl, who were both inside, were unhurt.

Crichton was arrested nearby, still carrying the weapon he had used.

He told police he had got drunk and “decided to scare her”.

Crichton, who had been bailed to live at The Swallows, Hadrian Park, Wallsend, but lives on the same Sunderland estate as the terrified mum, pleaded guilty to having a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence and causing criminal damage.

Mr Recorder Andrew Haslam jailed him for two years.

The judge said: “It was, on any view, an extremely serious offence. You and the complainant in this case seem to have had something of a feud between the two of you over a number of years.

“You, having had drink, decided to get into your car and driver around to her home address in the dead of night when she was at home alone with her four-year-old daughter.

“She was absolutely terrified.

“She was at home on her own with no-one to protect her and her four-year-old daughter to look after.

“The only saving grace is no-one was injured.”

The court heard Miss McDonough is the ex-partner of one of Crichton’s friends.

Lewis Kerr, defending, said Crichton is “ashamed of his actions”.