Wigan man faces jail after air rifle attack on youngsters

Bolton Crown Court
Bolton Crown Court
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A judge has warned a Wigan man - who confessed to shooting two children with an air rifle - that he is almost certain to be jailed.

Neil Storey, 36, is understood to have shot the pair, aged between six and 13, after an altercation in the Platt Bridge area last September.

Storey had been due to stand trial at Bolton Crown Court, charged with causing grievous bodily harm to the youngsters with intent.

But prosecutors accepted guilty pleas to offences of unlawful wounding, in relation to both children, during a brief hearing before Judge Timothy Clayson, Recorder of Bolton.

Anthony Stephenson, prosecuting, said that the decision had been reached after consultation with senior lawyers, the police and the children’s parents.

Storey, formerly of Hawthorns, off Water Street, Atherton, but now said to be back living in Platt Bridge, was released on bail for pre-sentence reports by

Judge Clayson until August 22 on condition he has no contact with the child witnesses or their family.

Adjourning the case, the judge told Storey: “These are, in my judgement, very serious offences, where the imposition of custodial sentence of some length seem to be almost inevitable.

“Make sure you do not have any contact with anyone with anything to do with this case, before then.”

The judge also asked for the BB gun, belonging to the children, which was said to have featured in the case, or photos of the toy to be brought to court for the next hearing.

Mr Stephenson said that the child’s BB gun was adapted to fire pellets and did not resemble the air rifle which was said to have been used by the defendant.

Paul Wood, defending, said his client did have some relevant convictions, on his criminal record, but they had been committed some years previously and Storey had never been to prison before.

The defendant’s cardiologist had also composed a letter to the court, added Mr Wood, detailing how Storey continued to suffer from serious heart problems and had faced heart failure earlier in the year.