A gun thug was seen "hopping around" after he shot himself in the foot.

Paul While, 32, was jailed on Friday after a police surveillance team watched him collecting a shotgun from a house in Knotty Ash.

He had been out of prison for 30 days when he was arrested on September 2.

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While, of Glen Way in Kirkby, was sentenced to four years in prison on November 26 after he admitted possessing a shotgun when prohibited for life; possessing a shotgun without a certificate and possessing prohibited ammunition.

Now more information has come to light about an incident involving While from December 2007 when he shot himself in the foot.

While, then 18, walked into Tote Sport bookmakers, in Dovecot Road, Dovecot, on December 27, 2007, with a sawn-off shotgun concealed in a pocket.

He had intended to pull out the weapon to scare a teenager who was inside the shop - but as he reached into his pocket he accidentally pulled the trigger, shooting himself in the foot.

In May 2008 Liverpool Crown Court heard details of the incident.

Daniel Travers, prosecuting, said While and a second teenager had intended to threaten someone inside the bookies as part of a long running dispute.

The court was told While was captured on CCTV hopping around inside the shop after the gun went off.

After the incident While and the 17-year-old were then picked up by a third man in a black Vauxhall Astra.

The car headed to the home of another man, who fled into his house when he heard gunfire in the street.

The three men were later arrested by police and admitted possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life.

Judge Nigel Gilmour sent While to a Young Offenders Institute for six years.

The shotgun Paul While was linked to by police
The shotgun Paul While was linked to by police

A 17-year-old man was jailed for nine years and a 24-year-old man was jailed for six years and three months.

Judge Gilmour said: “It has been an unhappy development over recent years that we are seeing not just young men using firearms - but teenagers."

While had been released from prison in August this year where he’d been recalled after being arrested over a firearms discharge.

He was soon on the police's radar when officers suspected he was preparing to pick up a gun.

He ran from a house on East Prescot Road and threw a bag containing a shotgun over a fence into a neighbouring garden and smashed his phone on the ground. Officers detained him at the scene.

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Police said that While was well known within Merseyside's criminal community and was linked to to multiple firearms discharges over recent years. He also has convictions for burglary and trying to stab another inmate in jail.

Senior officers welcomed While's recent prison sentence.

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Lamb said: “The OCP’s core mission is to protect the public and protect Merseyside from organised crime groups and offenders such as Paul While trying to blight it with their lethal commodities.

“Drugs and firearms so often go hand in hand and cause misery and chaos.

“It has been a very busy start for the OCP with some significant successes but we are determined to do more.”

National Crime Agency senior manager Mick Maloney, said: “Merseyside Police and the NCA together are a very strong partnership.

“The work we have done so far should serve as a warning to criminals across Merseyside that we are pursuing you and there is no end to our determination to bring you to justice.”

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