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Three men sentenced after shooting at McDonalds Drive-Thru

|News, Violent crime

Three men have been sentenced after a man was shot in broad daylight as he waited in a McDonalds Drive Thru on Merseyside.

The shooting happened at around 5:30pm on 18 June 2020 at the McDonalds restaurant on Welton Road, Bromborough.

Three men were convicted in relation to the incident and were sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court on 12 March 2021.

David Pugh, 32 of Woolfall Crescent, Huyton was found guilty of grievous bodily harm and possession of a firearm and was sentenced to 15 years and 9 months in jail.

James Nolan, 31, of Thomas Drive, Prescot was found guilty of grievous bodily harm and was sentenced to seven years and six months.

James O’Neil, 33, of Leyfield Road, Liverpool was found guilty of assisting an offender and was sentenced to 17 months.

Custody photos of Pugh, Nolan and O'Neil
Custody photos of O'Neil, Nolan and Pugh

Whilst collecting his food, the 21-year-old victim was shot in the leg by Pugh who boldly walked up to the window of the car, pulled a gun out and opened fire at the victim who was in the passenger seat.

Just two days later, on 20 June, following extensive CCTV, dashcam and forensic enquiries, Pugh was arrested for the offence and later charged. On 26 June, both Nolan and O’Neil were arrested and charged.

The victim did not support the prosecution but the CPS and the police proceeded in the public interest.

District Crown Prosecutor Keith Drummond of CPS Mersey-Cheshire, said: “It is often the case that the Crown Prosecution Service will pursue a case without the support of the victim.

“There can be a misconception amongst the public that a person can make an allegation and then retract it, assuming the case will then be dropped. However the CPS does not only take account of the views of the victim. We are also required to act in the wider public interest.

“When we reach a decision about whether to bring a criminal charge, two key stages must be met, as set out in The Code for Crown Prosecutors. There must be enough evidence for there to be a realistic prospect of a conviction on that charge and the prosecution must be in the public interest.

“If the prosecution has sufficient, credible, reliable and admissible evidence then the case will continue as long as it is in the public interest to do so. In this case there was enough evidence without the support of the victim and it was clearly in the public interest to prosecute in order to keep our streets safe, bring the offenders to justice and to send out a clear message that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated in a civilised society.”

Det Chief Inspector Matt Smith of Merseyside Police said: “There are multiple victims who have suffered as a result of these men. The victim himself, the staff and other customers at McDonalds and the wider community as a whole.

“Unfortunately, the victim has not been entirely co-operative with our investigations, which, although it created some difficulties, hasn’t stopped us from finding these men and, luckily for us, there were plenty of witnesses. They helped us by providing dashcam footage and speaking to officers so that we could quickly take these dangerous men and weapons off our streets.

“This shooting took place in the early evening, at a busy and popular restaurant. It could have so easily been a different story should an innocent person have been caught in the crossfire.”

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