'We could have been dealing with a murder enquiry': Sunderland cop hails 'fantastic result' as criminal gang jailed for 68 years

Shots were fired at a house in Craigshaw Square, Sunderland.
Shots were fired at a house in Craigshaw Square, Sunderland.

A senior police officer has hailed a 'fantastic result' as four criminals were locked up for a total of 68 years after a shooting in Sunderland.

The four men were locked up for their roles in a shooting after a weapon was fired at a house in Craigshaw Square, Hylton Castle, back in 2016.
Ringleader Tony Trott was locked up for 26 years, and self-styled underworld enforcer James Lee Ratcliff, who pulled the trigger, was given 24 years.

Damage caused after shots were fired at a house in Hylton Castle.

Damage caused after shots were fired at a house in Hylton Castle.

Lee Barnett, who went with Trott and Ratcliff to the scene of the shooting, was given 16 years.

Philip Steabler, described as a petty criminal who helped with the logistics of the shooting, was jailed for 35 months.

After sentencing, Chief Superintendent Sarah Pitt, of Northumbria Police, said: "This is a fantastic result which has taken a group of dangerous criminals off our streets.

"These individuals hatched a retaliatory plan to fire a series of gunshots through the front window of a family home.

"We could so easily have been dealing with a murder enquiry, and their actions that day endangered many people’s lives.

"We are committed to tackling and disrupting serious and organised criminality in our area and these sentences should act as a message to anybody who threatens the fabric and welfare of our society.

"I would like to praise the team of detectives who have worked tirelessly on this case. Their professionalism throughout this complex case has led to these dangerous men today being brought to justice."