Kent

Kevin McKinley shooting: Michaela Sargeant and Lewis Wickenden jailed

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Media captionMichaela Sargeant claimed during a 999 call that an unknown gunman had shot Mr McKinley during an argument

A woman has been jailed for eight years for fatally shooting a man in a street in Kent.

Michaela Sargeant, 25, of Overy Street in Dartford, was found guilty of the manslaughter of Kevin McKinley outside her house in February.

She was acquitted of murder by the jury at Maidstone Crown Court.

Her partner Lewis Wickenden, 26, also of Overy Street, was jailed for five years after being found guilty of assisting an offender.

Wickenden was acquitted of possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.

Kent Police said 32-year-old Mr McKinley went to the couple's house on 12 February, having been dropped off by a friend. His son was also in the car.

He intended to confront Wickenden, who he believed was spreading false rumours about him, but moments later the father-of-three was found in the road with a gunshot wound.

He was taken to Darent Valley Hospital and pronounced dead just over two hours later.

Det Ch Insp Jon Clayden, the senior investigating officer, said: "From the moment Sargeant called 999 to report that she heard gun shots outside, to this case coming to court, both she and Lewis Wickenden lied about the parts they played in the killing of Mr McKinley.

Image caption Michaela Sargeant was convicted of manslaughter

"Not only did Sargeant lie when she told the 999 operator that she heard two or three gun shots outside her property on that night, but she also later lied in interview, denying that she had picked up the gun.

"This story changed when Wickenden told officers that in fact it was Sargeant that fired the shots that killed Mr McKinley.

"Despite the fact both Sargeant and Wickenden lied about the circumstances, the proof of what happened that night was clear enough for the jury to see."

He said he hoped the sentences would "go some way" to allowing Mr McKinley's family to start moving on with their lives.

Mr McKinley's brother Bryan said the family did not believe justice had been done.

"They are going to be walking around and my brother ain't going to see his kids again," he said.

"He has lied through it all and the judge has basically given him a minimum sentence."

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