CCTV shows moment gang member shoots 12-year-old in drive-by attack in Yorkshire
Shocking CCTV footage shows the moment a gang member shot a 12-year-old boy – leaving him with a bullet in his leg that still hasn’t been removed.
Stephen Dunford, 25, was in the passenger seat of a stolen Ford Focus when he opened fire with a revolver in Sheffield.
The child, who was not the intended target, was seriously injured in the drive-by shooting in January, which was part of a drugs war, a court heard.
Another boy was just centimetres from death after a bullet passed through his hood.
The victim was with friends outside a sandwich shop. They had met up to go to the cinema at Meadowhall that afternoon.
A judge at Sheffield Crown Court told Dunford the activities of his gang had “engendered enormous fear” and made the lives of residents “a living nightmare”.
Doctors have never managed to remove the bullet from the boy’s thigh.
Judge Jeremy Richardson QC described how another boy escaped death by centimetres when a second bullet passed through the hood of his top.
“It is only a matter of good fortune and chance you did not kill them both,” he told Dunford.
Another man also fired from the car, the court heard.
Dunford was found guilty of attempted murder and other offences after a six-week trial.
He was jailed for life with a minimum term of 19 years.
If both boys had died, Dunford would have received a whole life tariff, the judge said.
He added he had “no idea when, or if, it will ever be safe to release” Dunford.
The judge told him he posed “enormous danger to the general public”.
“It is as plain as plain could be that you have engendered immense fear on a whole section of Sheffield and have made the lives of decent citizens bordering, if not passing into, the realm of a living nightmare,” he said.
“I wish to make it a matter of pellucid clarity that those who involve themselves with the supply of drugs and make use of firearms to protect, assist, or promote that evil trade, must receive, and will receive, very severe sentences.”
The court heard that Dunford posted a rap on social media which referenced the shooting, including the line “youth caught a stray”.
The judge said: “In the rap vocal endeavour which you were recorded as purporting to sing, which was posted on Facebook, you were making obvious mention of the shooting with a high level of glee and pride.
“It revealed not a shred of remorse for what you did. You simply made mention of the fact a young boy was hit by mistake.
“The true nature of your criminal conduct was also evident in the odious lyrics of that vocal delivery.”
He told Dunford that, if he had imposed a non-life sentence, he would have been jailed for 38 years.
Dunford was found guilty of attempted murder and possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.
He was also convicted of another count of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life following an incident in Heeley two days before when he opened fire five times with a 9mm Makarov semi-automatic weapon.
Judge Richardson also noted that Dunford was detained for two and a half years in a young offenders institution in 2013 for discharging a firearm in the Arbourthorne area, seriously injuring a 29-year-old man.
He said Dunford holds a “a senior, if not pivotal” role in a criminal gang and added: “This also involves gang rivalry and a form of warfare with other gangs in the Heeley and Arbourthorne districts of Sheffield.”
Co-accused Brandon Bailey, 26, of Manor Park Way, Sheffield, was jailed for 10 years and six months after he was found guilty of conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent to endanger life and had previously pleaded guilty to possession of criminal property.
Detective Chief Inspector Jade Brice, who led the investigation, said: “I cannot emphasise enough what a distressing ordeal this has been for this young man, his parents and his wider family.
“No child should have to feel such terror and no parent should find their child seriously injured on the doorstep of their home
” I would like to commend the whole family for their bravery, they have co-operated fully and willingly with us.”
DCI Brice added: “It is worth also mentioning the impact this incident has had on the wider community. As you will see from CCTV footage released today, this was a shocking event to happen on the streets of a regular Sheffield suburb, where families live, where hard-working people live.
“They should not have to put up with this type of criminality. I hope they share some relief that this man is behind bars and will be for a considerable amount of time.
“I would like to take this opportunity to remind people that if they have information about armed criminality or violence where they live, please talk to us, please share information with us. You can truly make a difference to an investigation like this.”
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