Gunman facing years in jail after being found guilty of attempted murder

A gunman is facing years behind bars after being convicted of trying to kill a rival in a shooting outside of his family home.

Monday, 25th February 2019, 15:05 pm
Updated Monday, 25th February 2019, 15:17 pm
The scene of the shooting, which happened at Coronation Road, Wingate.

Dean Barber survived being blasted with a shotgun, which fired 40 pellets into his body and caused multiple wounds to his neck, back and head.

Newcastle Crown Court heard Peter McStravick, who had been staying at a house near the shooting, which happened at Coronation Road, Wingate, was the gunman and had intended to kill his victim.

The 33-year-old, of Rydal Road, Darlington, denied attempted murder and possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life during a trial by jury.

After just two hours deliberation, jurors found him guilty of both charges.

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Mr Justice Jacobs adjourned sentence to a later date and said he wants McStravick's "dangerousness" to be assessed.

Prosecutor Rupert Doswell told the court the Barber family had been disturbed in the early hours of August 19 last year when the son's car, which was parked outside, had been set on fire.

Mr Dowswell told jurors there were confrontations in the street after the blaze was extinguished and the police had been and gone.

The court heard the Barber family, including parents Anne and Bryn, were all back inside the house when prosecutors claim McStravick turned up outside with the weapon.

Mr Doswell said: "Dean Barber put down his bowl of cereal and opened the front door and walked outside.

"As Dean Barber went outside, Anne Barber told police she saw the male, later identified by her as McStravick, through the front window.

"He was holding what she describes as a long gun, using two hands.

"What happened was extremely quick, there was the noise of a shot.

"She saw her son come back through the front door, on his belly. He was crawling. It was immediately clear to her he was bleeding, there was lots of blood.

"She said she immediately rang the police and was screaming down the phone."

The court heard Mr Barber's dad Bryn had just gone back to bed after the earlier disturbance and had heard someone shouting and trying to "goad" his son out of the property, saying "come on, I will kill you".

Mr Doswell added: "It was only after his son went outside he saw the defendant pull up a short barrelled shotgun, in a single movement, raising the weapon, he then fired at Dean Barber.

"He saw the crack and the flash and was then aware of his son shouting he had been shot."

The court heard when the emergency services arrived at the house the injured Mr Barber was lying on the kitchen floor.

Mr Doswell said: "There appeared to be blood coming from a wound on the back of his neck, going up his head."

The court heard Mr Barber was taken to hospital and had pellets lodged between the bones of his neck and the tissue of his lungs, which resulted in his admission to the critical care unit.

Mr Doswell told jurors: "The prosecution say use of a firearm, in particular that of a shotgun, has only one purpose and that purpose is to kill.

"Where a loaded shotgun is taken to an address in the early hours of the morning, where there is threats to kill that person then a shot to the person on the door step of their house and there the injuries sustained are to the neck and head, the intention can only be to kill."

Prosecutors claim David Still, 49, of Coronation Road, Wingate, who was McStravick's girlfriend's dad, supplied him with the gun.

Still has admitted possessing a firearm with intent to enable McStravick to endanger life.

The court heard McStravick made no comment to police when he was interviewed.

Mr Doswell told jurors: "The primary issue is identity, was it this defendant who shot Dean Barber?"