Sheffield man accused of attempted murder of 12-year-old boy in alleged drive-by shooting claims his family were attacked

A Sheffield man charged with the attempted murder of a 12-year-old boy in an alleged drive-by shooting has claimed he and his family were attacked after he handed himself into police.

Wednesday, 9th September 2020, 1:20 pm

Last month Stephen Dunford pleaded guilty to a November 2019 episode of dangerous driving in a white Ford ST, which it is alleged, was used when the boy was shot in the leg, on Northern Avenue, Arbourthorne, on January 12.

Dunford said the car was "available in the area for anyone who wanted to use it" but would not say who else had access to it.

When asked why not by prosecutor Stephen Wood QC, he said: "Firearms have been used in this incident and I don't want my family being targeted any more than they have."

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Police launched an investigation after a 12-year-old boy suffered a gunshot wound in his leg on Northern Avenue, Arbourthorne, Sheffield, in January, following an alleged drive-by shooting.

He said his father was beaten up by four men and had to have his spleen removed, his nan's house was shot at, his sister's next door neighbour's house was smashed up, and his auntie's windows have been put through.

The court heard these incidents happened after Dunford, 25, of Fellbrigg Road, Arbourthorne, handed himself into police, on January 15.

Dunford said he hired an Audi in his mother's name on January 8, and he regularly shared the cost of "nice flashy cars to impress women" with other people.

But he wouldn't name the person who borrowed the Audi on January 10 because he has been warned "they will shoot me or my mum."

"They basically said they will leg-shot my mum. That means to me they will shoot my mum in the leg."

In a statement Dunford said he was at his grandmother's house at the time of the shooting but mobile telephone records showed he also made calls from a different area.

When giving evidence he said he was also driving around the area with a friend.

"When I gave a prepared statement I had been in custody for three days," he said. "I smoke a lot of cannabis. I couldn't get my head around it. I couldn't come to terms with it."

He denied setting fire to the white Ford on Clough Road, Highfields.

Dunford said he picked up the Audi again and drove some friends to a nearby street, but when he drove past the burning car, they changed the subject and talked among themelves.

Yesterday, Dunford said he asked to remain in a single cell while he is on remand because there was “a price on his head” and that his family were living in safe houses.

Earlier today, the jury found Dunford's co-defendant, Devon Gregory, 23, of Heeley Green, Heeley, Sheffield, not guilty of attempted murder and possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life.

Dunford denies a further charge of possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life after a separate incident on Northcote Avenue, Sheffield, in January, where a bullet was found in a vehicle tyre.

Dunford, Gregory and Brandon Bailey, aged 26, of Manor Park Way, Sheffield, all deny conspiracy to endanger life and Bailey denies possessing criminal property in the form of cash. The trial continues.

Read the latest cases from Sheffield Crown Court here.

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