Essex

Great Dunmow 'death by cop' shooting man jailed for six years

Police seal off part of Great Dunmow
Image caption Part of Great Dunmow was sealed off following the stand-off

A man shot by police in a so-called attempted "death by cop" incident has been jailed for six years.

Stephen Debley told passers-by to call the Sun newspaper as he was going to have "a shoot-out with the old bill".

Debley, from Dunmow in Essex, the first person shot by Essex Police for more than 30 years, admitted firearms offences involving two replica guns.

Debley, 48, who was shot in the leg and tasered, had twice previously attempted suicide, Chelmsford Crown Court heard.

He was shot by armed police in Knights Way, Great Dunmow, on 1 September last year after reports he was carrying two guns.

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Judge Patricia Lynch QC said people who had seen him in the street carrying the replica weapons would almost certainly "be scared to death".

Debley, of Knights Way, was charged with two counts of possession of an imitation firearm with intent, and one of affray.

The court heard he was trying to end his life in a "death by cop" incident, a recognised form of attempted suicide in which people deliberately provoke police officers into using their weapons.

Image caption The judge said people who had seen Debley would almost certainly "be scared to death"

The judge said just as people who threw themselves under buses and trains did not consider the driver involved, so had Debley failed to consider the position of police officers.

She said: "This is not the United States of America and police officers in this country do not shoot to kill."

In mitigation, Gary Ryan said Debley had a 15-year history of depression and had attempted to take his own life twice, had been physically abused by his father and had cared for his mother for 25 years.

Mr Ryan said Debley had said to a member of the public: "Will you telephone the Sun, I have mental health issues, and I am about to have a shoot-out with the old bill."

Debley was jailed for six years for the gun possession offence and two years for affray, to run concurrently.

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