Men guilty following sawn-off shotgun incident in Rugby
Two men who were involved in firing a sawn-off shotgun at the window of a Rugby house '“ Â in what a court heard was believed to have been a conflict over drug-dealing '“ have been remanded in custody.
Glenroy Blackstock and Damion Rea both denied a charge of possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life during the incident at a house in Oxford Street, Rugby.
Following a trial at Warwick Crown Court the jury cleared them both of that allegation, but convicted them of an alternative charge of possessing it with intent to cause fear of violence.
Blackstock (31) of Newland Street, Rugby, but previously from Coventry, and Rea (24) of Grosvenor Road, Rugby, were both remanded in custody while reports are prepared.
Judge Peter Cooke said he wanted the reports to consider whether the two men pose a danger to the public after hearing how it was Rea who had fired the shotgun at the house, and that Blackstock had a previous conviction for manslaughter.
Prosecutor Andrew Wilkins had told the jury: “This is about the firing of a shotgun on the evening of the 29th of November 2017 at the window of a house in Oxford Street in Rugby.
“The tenant is not somebody from whom we are going to be hearing evidence. His neighbour believed him to be dealing in drugs, and you may think that the neighbour was entirely right. There were other people around at the house at the time, but they didn’t really want to help the police either.”
At the time Blackstock was wearing an electronic tag which monitored his movements. It showed he had gone to the Oxford Street address at about 5pm, and had then gone home for about an hour before making a short phone call to Rea.
Blackstock then picked Rea up from his home, and they went back to Oxford Street where the shots were fired at about 7.20pm before they left at 7.24pm.
The tag then showed he had gone to a picnic site in Newton village where, although it was closed at that time of day, he spent two minutes and then went home, stopping on the way in St Andrews Crescent, where Rea was living.
At the picnic site police found a sawn-off shotgun in bushes near the entrance, wrapped in bin bags – one of which had Rea’s fingerprint on it.
Mr Wilkins said the case put forward by the defendants was that they had gone to the house unarmed to threaten people there and have some sort of encounter with them.
Both men told the jury that while they were there, one of the people at the house produced the gun, which was dropped in a scuffle. Rea told the jury he had picked it up, and as he and Blackstock left, he had turned and fired it to scare the occupants to prevent them giving chase.
But Mr Wilkins put to him: “The reality is that you and Blackstock went there with this gun to cause havoc in the streets of Rugby. You used it to scare these people out of Rugby.”
After the guilty verdicts, the judge said: “It is not my intention to sentence these defendants straight away. Particularly Blackstock has a very troubling history which includes a manslaughter conviction.”