A gunman was sentenced to 17 years today (Tuesday, February 9) for shooting his victim as he worked on a gate at a house in Smallford near St Albans.
Michael Clark, now 22, called out the man’s name before firing the gun at him from a silver Mercedes.
Prosecutor Anwar Nashashibi said: “The next thing the victim heard was a bang. He felt a thump like a sledge hammer to his left side.”
The 37-year-old man was taken to hospital by helicopter. A paramedic repeatedly slapped his face to keep him awake.
The prosecutor went on: “The bullet passed into the abominable cavity, just below the liver. Miraculously, it missed all major organs. He underwent an operation lasting several hours.
“He needed 45 staples and has a long scar from his lower abdomen to his chest.
“The missile remained inside him. The next day part of his left lung collapsed. He spent 6 days in hospital.”
The victim still cannot work or lift objects and suffers panic attacks, nearly a year after the shooting.
The shooting happened in Springfield Road, Smallford at 3pm on March 24 last year. About an hour earlier the Mercedes, which had false number plates, was seen making a reconnaissance trip to the cul-de-sac.
Mr Nashashibi said the motive for the shooting was not known, except that about a year before the two men had an argument and had not spoken.
Clark was sentenced to 12 years in jail at St Albans Crown Court with an extended sentence of 5 years after the judge ruled that he was a dangerous offender. He had pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent.
It means Clark, of Ver Meadows in Redbourn, Herts could be recalled to prison at any time up to 2037.
After speeding away from the scene in the Mercedes, Clark stopped in Dunstable. He then went to Crowland in Lincolnshire in a Citroen car. He stayed there for a week and was arrested in Redbourn in May.
The police were able to track Clark’s movements through CCTV, Automatic Number Plate Recognition and movements on his pay as you go mobile phone.
Isabel McCarroll, defending, said Clark was just 21 at the time and did not have a history of violent offending.
Jailing him, Judge Richard Foster told him: “You carried out a carefully planned shooting. The motive appears to be some dispute perhaps a year ago.
“The absence of a clear motive increases the concern. The planning was meticulous – you seemed to know where he would be.
“You used a real gun and a bullet. It is only because of luck and medical intervention he survived.”
Picture credit South Beds News Agency