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Sheffield shooting: Drive-by gunman guilty of attempted murder

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image copyrightSouth Yorkshire Police
image captionStephen Dunford was found guilty of attempted murder after a trial at Sheffield Crown Court

A man who shot a 12-year-old boy in a drive-by shooting then bragged about it in a prison cell rap has been found guilty of attempted murder.

The boy suffered serious leg injuries when Stephen Dunford, 25, opened fire on a group of people in Northern Avenue, Sheffield, from a passing car.

He was later recorded in jail saying: "I was really trying to take him away. Then a youth got a stray."

Dunford, from Sheffield, who denied the offence, was convicted after a trial.

He was also found guilty of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life in relation to the incident on 12 January and a separate shooting in Northcote Avenue two days earlier when nobody was injured.

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During his trial Sheffield Crown Court heard Dunford was one of a group of masked men in a white Ford Focus who opened fire on the group as they stood outside a row of shops in the Arbourthorne area of the city.

The boy, who recognised Dunford, told police he saw the car drive up before "they started shooting everywhere" he said he then heard the gunman shout "we got one".

The court heard doctors had been unable to remove the bullet from his thigh.

image captionThe victim was with a group of friends on Northern Avenue when he was shot from a moving car

A second boy narrowly avoided injury when a bullet passed through the hood of his jumper, inches from his head.

Police said at the time the boy and his friends were "innocent bystanders" most likely caught up in a fallout between organised crime groups.

'Highly dangerous'

The court heard that Dunford was later recorded rapping about the incident while in custody, at one stage talking about "five shootings in two days" before saying: "Since I come jail the shooting stopped."

Dunford, who claimed he was having Sunday dinner at a relatives at the time of the shooting, was found not guilty of two further firearms offences.

Julian Briggs from the Crown Prosecution Service said: "It is only by great good fortune that Dunford's actions did not result in the tragic death of the 12-year-old child.

"[He] is a highly dangerous individual and he is now facing a long jail sentence."

image copyrightSouth Yorkshire Police
image captionBrandon Bailey was convicted of conspiracy to possess a firearm

A co-defendant, Devon Gregory, of Heeley Green, Sheffield, was found not guilty by the judge of attempted murder and possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.

He was found not guilty by the jury of an offence of conspiracy to possess a firearm.

A third man, Brandon Bailey, 26, of Manor Park Way, Sheffield, was convicted of conspiracy to possess a firearm and pleaded guilty during the trial to possession of criminal property after police found £19,700 in cash at his home.

Dunford and Bailey will be sentenced on 2 October.

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