A senior judge has told two burglars shot by a homeowner that he does not consider their lasting injuries to be part of their punishment because they took a chance in choosing to commit the crime.
Joshua O'Gorman and Daniel Mansell, who have a string of convictions between them, were blasted with a legally owned shotgun by householder Andy Ferrie as they attempted to ransack his isolated farm cottage in the early hours of September 2.
They pleaded guilty to the break-in in Welby, near Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, and were each jailed for four years by Judge Michael Pert QC at Leicester Crown Court.
Sentencing the pair, the judge told them that, in his opinion, the injuries they suffered when Mr Ferrie opened fire - O'Gorman was shot in the face and Mansell was hit in his right hand - were not included as part of their sentence or defence.
"I make it plain that, in my judgment, being shot is not mitigation. If you burgle a house in the country where the householder owns a legally held shotgun, that is the chance you take. You cannot come to court and ask for a lighter sentence because of it," he said.
He was responding to mitigation from Andrew Frymann, representing O'Gorman, who said that being shot was for his client akin to a "near-death experience" for which he was not prepared. His injuries left him with blurred vision in his eye, severe pain and problems with his balance.
Replying to Mr Frymann's suggestion that O'Gorman was traumatised by the experience, Judge Pert said the arrest of Mr and Mrs Ferrie on suspicion of grievous bodily harm after the shooting could be considered just as disturbing.
"Some might argue that being arrested and locked up for 40 hours is a trauma," he said.
Mr Ferrie, 35, and his wife Tracey, 43, were held in custody for nearly two days after Mr Ferrie called police to tell them he fired his shotgun at the intruders. The couple were later bailed and told they would not face criminal charges.
Mansell, 33, and O'Gorman, 27, both from Leicester but with no fixed addresses, appeared in the court dock each wearing a grey sweatshirt and showing physical evidence of the confrontation. The scar from the gunshot wound was clearly visible on the right side of O'Gorman's face and Mansell had his arm in a sling.