A man was today (8 December) convicted at Chelmsford Crown Court of an “unspeakably vicious” break-in at a house in Sible Hedingham, Essex.
Charlie Simms was convicted of attempted murder, aggravated burglary and possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life.
Senior District Crown Prosecutor for CPS East of England, Punam Malhan said:
“The victim was left for dead, with life-changing injuries, in an unspeakably vicious assault and I would like to praise him for his bravery in giving evidence against those responsible for the attack on him in his own home - the very place where he expected to be able to feel safe.
“The prosecution case was the defendants held the mistaken belief that they would find a significant amount of money in the house.
“The events of that night and its aftermath will stay with the victim and his family for the rest of their lives. I hope the convictions today can go some way to reassuring them that justice has been done.”
The court heard a desperate 999 call from the homeowner who had locked himself in his bedroom having heard men breaking into his house at 4:30am on 6 February this year.
While the victim was on the phone to the police, the sound of a shotgun being fired through the bedroom door was heard followed by Simms screaming demands for money and threats to kill. The victim was shot at point-blank range causing a severe injury to his leg.
Simms, 23 and from Great Yeldham, Essex was described in court as “the main mover and most brutal" of the raiders and denied the charges against him.
Christopher Bergin, 28, of Sible Hedingham, denied aggravated burglary, wounding with intent, possessing a firearm and possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life.
Bergin admitted entering the house and committing the aggravated burglary with Simms, but he claimed to have been acting under duress from his co-defendant. The jury rejected his story and found him guilty of aggravated burglary, wounding with intent and possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life.
Sentencing has been adjourned until January 2017.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Kalebh Shreeve, 24, denied aggravated burglary, wounding with intent, possessing a firearm and possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life. He was acquitted on all charges.