Exclusive: Career criminal jailed over Sheffield pub shooting was marked man with £40,000 bounty on his head

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A career criminal with a £40,000 bounty on his head has been jailed for 13 years for shooting at rival gang members outside a Sheffield pub.

Terrified women were screaming and customers trampling over one another to get back into the pub as Jamie Howden opened fire.

The 26-year-old gunman was a marked man, Sheffield Crown Court heard.

He had been shot in the leg on Penistone Road, Hillsborough, and had been issued seven ‘threat to life’ notices by police in just 15 months.

The shooting sparked terror outside the Thorncliffe Arms pub in Chapeltown on July 15, 2016.

A witness, who was just leaving the pub, said: “If it had been a few seconds later, I could’ve been killed.”

Judge Julian Goose QC told Howden: “You used a prohibited firearm in a place full of people causing panic and distress to those who witnessed it.

“You fired four shots, one over the head and three towards the body of the group to endanger the life of others.”

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A gunman sparked scenes of terror and chaos when he opened fire outside a Sheffield pub.

Jamie Howden fired one shot into the air and then three more at rival gang members.

Sheffield Crown Court was told terrified customers trampled over one another as they scrambled to safety outside the Thorncliffe Arms pub on Burncross Road in Chapeltown.

Howden, aged 26, previously of Parson Cross but now of Barber Road, Hoyland, Barnsley, was jailed for more than 10 years for the shooting on July 15.

A witness told the court: “There were women screaming and men shouting. Customers came rushing back into the pub.

“There was mass confusion, people were terrified trampling over each other to get through the door.

“What concerns me is I was on my way out to my car. If it was a few seconds later, I could’ve been killed.”

Howden, who has previous firearms convictions, was drinking with friends in the pub when a car pulled into the car park.

CCTV shows him talking to four men outside who then walk away.

Howden then fired one shot into the air before ducking behind cars for cover and firing three more shots at the group.

Ian Goldsack, prosecuting, said Howden and co-defendant Lewis Taylor, who has already been jailed, both ran from the scene.

He said the men fired at were ‘members of a rival and different organised crime group’.

Ammunition from a Makarov 9mm pistol was found by police.

Despite the pub being packed inside and out, police managed to only get two witness statements.

Howden was arrested four days later and told police he was targeted by rival gangs and had a £40,000 bounty on his head.

Police had issued seven ‘threat to life’ notices to him – warning him they had intelligence his life was in danger.

Howden was shot in the leg when the Seat Leon he was a passenger in was chased by two masked gunmen in a VW Golf along Southey Green Road, Halifax Road and Penistone Road on January 20.

Gavin Bennett, of Firth Park, was cleared of his attempted murder.

Howden pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm with intent to endanger. Co-defendant Taylor, 21, of Fircroft Road, Shiregreen, has been jailed for six years and four months for his part in the incident.

Det Con Steve Robinson said: “Thankfully, no one was injured but this could have easily turned in to a fatal incident. Being in possession of a gun does not give you status, it does not give you authority and anyone found to be carrying a firearm will be arrested and brought to justice.

He vowed police would ‘continue working tirelessly to protect the public of South Yorkshire’.

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