A man has been cleared of attempted murder in a bungled shooting in Brighton last year when a crown court jury found him not guilty.
Spencer Bowen, 25, was accused of being one of four men who went to the wrong flat in Elmore Road, Brighton, in January last year and fired a gun through the letterbox at the wrong man.
But a jury at Hove Crown Court failed to reach a verdict when he was tried with three others at the end of last year. One of the men, Adam Willis, 34, of Charlotte Street, Kemp Town, was jailed for life after being the only one of the four to be convicted.
Bowen was kept in prison to await a retrial which took place at Croydon Crown Court and ended on Monday (25 July). He was acquitted.
The case revolved around four men looking for a 25-year-old man called TJ. They went to a flat in Elmore Road – the wrong flat – and shot the wrong man.
The terrified occupant, Lloyd Walls, 40, desperately tried to hold his front door shut on the gang as they tried to force their way in. A single shot was fired through the letterbox, injuring Mr Walls. He lost one of his fingers in the blast.
Armed officers from Sussex Police were sent to the scene but by the time they arrived the suspects had fled.
Detective Chief Inspector Paul Rymarz, of the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team, who led the investigation, said: “A group 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.
“This was a lengthy 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.
“We respect the decision of the jury but we are not looking for anyone else in connection with the shooting.”
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