Brighton gunman jailed for life after shooting ‘the wrong man’

Posted On 07 Jan 2016 at 6:50 pm

A Brighton man has been jailed for life after he was found guilty of attempted murder and conspiracy to murder in January last year.

Adam Willis, 33, Willis, who was living in Charlotte Street, in Kemp Town, fired through a letterbox in Elmore Road, Brighton, at 40-year-old Lloyd Walls.

Mr Walls, who was desperately trying to hold his front door shut, lost one of his fingers as a result of the blast.

Willis appeared to be looking for someone called TJ – a 25-year-old – when he shot the wrong man.

Adam Willis

Adam Willis

The jury convicted Willis last month. He was remanded in custody and sentenced today (Thursday 7 January) to life imprisonment with a recommendation that he serve a minimum of 17 and a half years.

After nearly six days of deliberation, the jury was hung and could not reach a verdict on Spencer Bowen, 24, of Heathfield Avenue, Dover, Kent.

He was charged with attempting to murder a 40-year-old man and conspiracy to murder a 25-year-old man in Elmore Road, Brighton, on Tuesday 27 January last year.

He was also charged with assault causing grievous bodily harm (GBH).

Bowen was remanded in custody until his retrial next year.

Hayden Pendleton, 29, of Damwood Road, Liverpool, was found not guilty of attempted murder and conspiracy to murder by the jury last month.

The case against Lewis Carney, 27, of London Road, Dover, Kent, who was charged with conspiracy to murder, was dropped at the start of the trial.

The jury at Hove Crown Court was told that a group of men mistakenly went to the wrong flat in Elmore Road. They fired a single shot through the front door after trying to force their way in.

This hit Mr Walls who was taken by ambulance to the Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton, for treatment to his injuries, which were serious but not life threatening. Armed officers were deployed to the scene but the suspects had fled.

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Rymarz, who led the investigation, said: “Organised criminals armed with a loaded shotgun were seeking to target a man who was not at the property.

“An innocent man was instead subjected to a shocking and frightening unprovoked attack at his home.

“I am pleased with the sentence which reflects the seriousness of the offence.

“This has been a long and complex investigation with officers supporting the victim and also the man who we believed to be the intended target.

“I would like to pay particular tribute to the victim of the attack, who showed significant bravery, and the entire investigation team who have worked so tirelessly on the case since January last year.”

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