'Truly shocking': Police chief speaks out after shooting of child on Sheffield street

The shooting of a boy on a Sheffield street has been described as ‘truly shocking’ by the city’s most senior police officer.

Sheffield’s District Commander, Chief Superintendent Una Jennings, spoke out after the gunman responsible for the shooting was jailed for life.

Gang member Stephen Dunford, aged 26, shot at a group of children stood on a street in Arbourthorne while looking for a rival in January.

Chief Superintendent Una Jennings

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A bullet hit a 12-year-old boy in his thigh and narrowly missed another child’s head and neck.

Dunford, of Fellbrigg Road, Arbourthorne, was ordered to serve a minimum of 19 years behind bars and was warned that he would have received a whole life tariff had any of the children died.

The Recorder of Sheffield, Judge Jeremy Richardson QC, said Dunford posed an ‘immense danger’ to the public.

Chf Supt Jennings said: “The conclusion of Stephen Dunford's trial and his sentencing this week should be of great relief to the people of Arbourthorne and the wider community. As the judge said, he had a life of irredeemable criminality and he was immersed in violence.

“The people of this city do not deserve to have men like this causing horror on their streets. Quite rightly Dunford will serve a significant amount of time in prison for the crimes he committed in January.

“The shooting of a child, who was simply spending the afternoon with his friends, was truly shocking. It it something no family should have to navigate, and they have done so with dignity. I commend them for that.”

The police chief added: “I would like Dunford's sentencing to send a strong message to the people of Sheffield that we are absolutely committed to tackling armed criminality. We have dedicated officers and investigators working hard to bring dangerous people to justice.

“I hope it also sends a message to those intent on causing harm, fear and upset, that this will not be tolerated in this city.

“It is also an opportunity for me to appeal to our communities to work with us, share information with us, speak to us about your concerns.

“By working with us, you can help us bring more people to justice, people like Dunford. It is vital we have your support to keep our streets safe.”

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