'Cowardly' cousins jailed for Sheffield woodland shooting
Two cousins have been jailed for a combined total of 25 years for shooting a man they had '˜bad blood' with, during an altercation on Sheffield woodlands.
During a hearing at Sheffield Crown Court on Tuesday, Justice Finola O’Farrell sentenced Ricky Mayfield to 15 years in prison and handed his cousin, Francis Mayfield, a sentence of 10 years.
Justice O’Farrell sentenced Ricky to an extended license period of five years, due to the danger she believes he poses to members of the public.
But jurors found them guilty of the lesser charge of grievous bodily harm with intent on Monday.
They were also found guilty of possession of a firearm.
Sending the pair to prison on Tuesday, Justice O’Farrell told the Mayfields: “There can be no justification for such a callous act of violence.
"This was a cowardly attack. You ambushed your victim, and fired a sawn-off shot gun at him, knowing he was unarmed.”
The attack took place in woodland off Smithy Wood Road in Chapeltown, just before 2pm on April 23 last year.
Justice O’Farrell told the court that the Mayfields sought out their victim, and rode towards the area where the shooting took place on a quad bike.
Francis, of Toppham Road, Low Edges was driving the bike, with 30-year-old Ricky as a passenger. Their victim was also on a quad bike.
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Opening the trial earlier this month, prosecutor, Paul Mitchell, told the court that as the two groups came towards each other Francis shouted ‘blast him’ to Ricky, who produced a double-barrel shotgun and unsuccessfully fired it twice at the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons.
Mr Mitchell said Ricky, of the Norfolk Park bail hostel, was then seen reloading the shotgun at which point his victim, also on a quad bike, rode towards him in a bid to stop him.
But the man was shot in the hand at ‘close range’, which resulted in him losing his middle finger, his little finger and part of his ring finger on his left hand.
Mr Mitchell said the cousins had ‘bad blood’ with their victim, but said the exact reason for this had not been established.
Ricky had been out of prison for just 21 days when he committed the offences, the court was told.
The dad-of-three has previously been convicted of possession of an imitation firearm and conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm after he and another cousin were recorded discussing buying a gun to shoot a group of people with during a telephone conversation.
Justice O'Farrell told Ricky his previous convictions demonstrated his 'propensity to use, and intention to use, firearms' - an aggravating factor she told the 30-year-old she had to take into consideration when passing sentence.
Defending Ricky, Edward Vickers, told the court that he has suffered from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder since being a child, as well as what Ricky described as 'ticks of bipolar' depression.
Mr Vickers said this meant he found it difficult to control his moods.
Chris Aspinall told the court that Francis' main mitigation was his age.
"He has managed to get to the age of 24 without any serious criminal activity," Mr Aspinall told the court.
After the pair were found guilty on both counts, a brawl broke out in the court room involving both of the defendants, as well as around 20-22 people from the public gallery.
Justice O'Farrell and the jury had left the courtroom by the time violence broke out. She did not mention the incident during her sentencing remarks, and it is not clear whether she took the incident into consideration when passing sentence.