A TEENAGE gunman who sparked a month of unrest on a city estate after blasting a youth with a sawn-off shotgun for ‘disrespecting him’ has been locked up for 10 years.
The shooting last February prompted tit-for-tat reprisals in Wybourn and left Jason Marriott, aged 15, in hospital with a gunshot wound to his arm.
Sheffield Crown Court heard Jemele Rhone, now aged 17 but only 15 at the time, brandished the gun at his terrified victim and forced him into a gennel following a confrontation the day before.
Egged on by accomplice Devon Walker, now 19, Rhone demanded his victim ring his father from his mobile phone - and tell him he was about to be shot.
Nicholas Lumley QC, prosecuting, said: “There was a verbal confrontation in the street between Jemele Rhone and Jason Marriott.
“Rhone armed himself with a sawn-off shotgun and, the next day, went to look for Jason Marriott.”
The teenager was walking along Boundary Road, Wybourn, when he was confronted by Rhone and Walker.
Rhone pulled the gun out of his trousers, and forced his victim into a gennel and threatened to shoot him before frog-marching him to the back of a nearby community centre.
While on the phone, Rhone grabbed the handset shouting, ‘Who do you think you are? You tried starting on me’ while Walker issued the terrifying instruction: “Just shoot him.”
Mr Lumley said Rhone then told Jason Marriott to run, brought the gun up to his chest, and fired.
“It struck the upper part of Jason Marriott’s left arm and blood began to pour from the wound,” he told the court.
The thugs fled, but Walker was caught by police on Manor Lane.
Rhone went on the run for several weeks before handing himself in.
Following the shooting, South Yorkshire Police put extra officers on the estate in a bid to reassure residents.
But a spate of attacks followed during a month of unrest, which included a stabbing and an attack on a 20-year-old man who was left for dead.
Mr Lumley said the psychological effects on Jason Marriott had been ‘profound’.
He spent 10 days in hospital, underwent plastic surgery and skin grafts, and 40 or 50 pellets still remain in his arm.
He said: “He feels anxious, does not sleep for long, and is frightened whenever he hears a loud bang.”
Rhone, of Outram Road, Wybourn, Sheffield, and Walker, whose address is in Ashton Under Lyne, Greater Manchester, had been due to stand trial on charges of attempted murder but pleaded guilty to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
Rhone also admitted carrying a firearm in public.
Walker was jailed for nine years, while Rhone was sentenced to 10 years in a young offenders’ institution.
Judge Michael Murphy QC said drugs could have been behind the dispute but there was no evidence Jason Marriott was involved in drug dealing.
He said the sentence had to deter others from using guns on Sheffield’s streets.
“This calls for sentences which are aimed to deter others and make it clear to the public and other young men that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated in this society,” he said.
Acting Detective Superintendent Zaf Ali told The Star afterwards: “These were serious offences which caused significant injuries to a young teenager.
“The attack caused a great deal of fear and unrest for the people of Wybourn and I’d like to thank local residents for their help and support with the investigation.”
Sheffield District Commander, Chief Supt David Hartley, said: “This was a challenging investigation and I am pleased the offenders are no longer a risk to the Sheffield public.”