Essex

Man jailed for shooting boxer Martin Ward and brother

  • 23 May 2014
  • From the section Essex
Francis O'Donoghue and Martin Ward Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Francis O'Donoghue (left) was jailed for shooting Martin Ward and his brother

A man has been jailed for 16 and a half years for shooting a British boxer and his brother in Essex.

Martin and John Ward were left with wounds to the legs and chest after what police called a "neighbour dispute" in Navestock last August.

Francis O'Donoghue, 27, admitted possessing a firearm and wounding with intent, at Woolwich Crown Court.

Det Ch Insp Lucy Morris said the sentence reflected the "severity of his offending".

She said: "Francis O'Donoghue admitted deliberately shooting two people at close range with intent to cause them serious harm.

"It is by pure chance that the shots fired did not result in fatal injuries and this was not a double murder investigation."

'No remorse'

The shootings happened at a travellers' site off Goatswood Lane and were said to be the culmination of a feud that began outside a shop in Harold Wood earlier that day.

O'Donoghue was arrested in October, a month after BBC Crimewatch highlighted the police's hunt for him.

Det Ch Insp Morris said: "Francis O'Donoghue never showed any remorse for his actions, nor has he assisted us with the location of the illegal weapon.

"Instead he went on the run for six weeks and cost substantial police time and resources in locating him."

Mr Ward, a former European junior champion who represented Great Britain, was admitted to hospital along with his brother, but both were later released.

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