Burglar 'shot in leg' in gang fight at smallholding in Whitbourne, near Bromyard (From Hereford Times)
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Burglar 'shot in leg' in gang fight at smallholding in Whitbourne, near Bromyard
11:19am Monday 29th October 2012 in News
A BURGLAR was shot in the leg during a gun battle at a smallholding near Bromyard that was being used as a cannabis factory, a jury has been told.
Robert Richards was a member of a gang who targeted Stocking Gobbetts, in Whitbourne, near Bromyard, to steal drugs and equipment, it was alleged.
The gang took a gun because it was known that the occupier Malcolm White owned a firearm after trouble in the past, said prosecutor Stephen Thomas.
Mr White and his partner Josephine Merrick were watching a film when the gang smashed in the lounge window with a sledgehammer.
Mr White left by the front door, grabbing a shotgun from a gun cabinet, said Mr Thomas.
During firing from both sides, Mr White allegedly hit Richards in his right leg.
He now has a metal leg and appeared in court in a wheelchair.
Mrs Merrick heard three shots being fired and Police later recovered a bullet from a garage fascia.
The gang fled in two cars and a van to Knightwick where one of the getaway cars, a stolen Honda, was abandoned.
Richards, bleeding heavily, and another gang member, Darren Randall, were dropped off in Leigh Sinton where they sought help at a Chinese restaurant, the jury was told.
Police and an ambulance attended and they were arrested.
Richards, aged 29, of Scholars Green, Birmingham, and 25-year-old Randall, of Yardley Fields Road, Birmingham, deny aggravated attempted burglary.
Mr Thomas said gang members had driven to Whitbourne three times on reconnaissance before the raid, on October 5 last year.
He said the drug operation was worth £65,000 a year.
“This was a serious attempt at a valuable target and was well worth the effort they were putting in.”
Glass from the broken window was found in Richards’ clothing.
Gloves found in the Honda were linked to Randall by DNA and glass from the house.
The trial continues.