Great Britain

Leyland man Luke Gittins shot his brother Jordan in row after knifeman visits their family home demanding "debts" be repaid

A man shot his own brother in the thigh with a pellet gun during a row at their family home.

Luke Gittins, 26, of Wigton Avenue, Leyland, admits causing actual bodily harm to his brother Jordan Gittins on March 11 last year after a man armed with a knife had visited their address claiming Jordan owed a 'debt', and damaged car tyres.

Luke Gittins, pictured in 2015 (CREDIT: LANCS POLICE)

Luke Gittins, pictured in 2015 (CREDIT: LANCS POLICE)

Prosecuting at Preston Crown Court, Peter Barr said: "It appears Jordan had become indebted to another person. That person came round to the address and was very heavy handed.

"This defendant referred to the man who came around as a gangster.

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"This person slashed this defendant's car tyres and their mother's car tyres

"The man was armed with a knife and said words to the effect of 'If you don't pay me I'll be slashing you next time.'

"What then happened is this defendant took exception to that and challenged his brother, saying 'you're bringing gangsters into my house'.

"The defendant armed himself with a pellet gun and threatened his brother with it. He comes into the bedroom and puts the pellet gun to his chest."

The court hears the pair scuffled and during this, the gun was discharged and Jordan Gittins was shot in his left thigh.

He had to go to hospital to have the single pellet removed.

Mr Barr added: " The brothers appear to have reconciled - he doesn't support this prosecution."

Defending, Sharon Watson said: " "He was understandably angry with his brother and so the assault - reckless, he didn't intend to shoot his brother - took place and things got out of hand, and his brother suffered an injury.

"They are still in contact, he clearly is still close to his brother.

"Today Mr Gittins took the sensible and mature step of pleading guilty."

The Honorary Recorder of Preston, Judge Mark Brown, said: "It must be conceded your previous conviction in 2015 for a section 18 assault and section 47 assault aggravates the situation considerably.

On the other hand the circumstances were somewhat unusual.

"Anyone who arms themselves with a gun and ends up shooting somebody, albeit recklessly, during a struggle is inevitably going to find themselves in a serious situation.

"I am satisfied there must be a prison sentence - however I am willing to suspend that sentence."