Devon

Men jailed for Plymouth shooting in front of son

Gary Ball and Mark Gagen
Image caption Ball and Gagen carried out an "offence of extreme violence," the judge said

Two men have been jailed for shooting a man at his home in front of his seven-year-old son in what a judge called a "violent, personal robbery".

Car dealer Colin Pester, 63, was seriously hurt in the shooting in Whitleigh, Plymouth, in 2008.

Gary Ball, 45, of Plymouth, had denied robbery, possessing a firearm and grievous bodily harm but was found guilty and jailed for 18 years.

Mark Gagen, 43, admitted the charges at an earlier date.

He was sentenced at Plymouth Crown Court to 16 years in jail.

'Carefully planned'

Mr Pester's son witnessed the shooting at the family home in Lancaster Gardens, which was carried out at point-blank range on 30 April 2008, the court heard.

Ball was sentenced to 18 years for each of his offences and Gagen to 16 years each, the terms to be served concurrently.

Image caption Colin Pester was shot at his Plymouth home

Judge Francis Gilbert said Ball would serve at least nine years, and Gagen, who appeared by video link, at least eight.

Sentencing, Judge Gilbert said the "carefully-planned robbery" was an "offence of extreme violence, resulting in life-threatening injury".

He said: "Mr Pester was shot in front of his young son at point-blank range and was fortunate not to die.

"Since the shootings, he has had 16 operations and is in constant pain.

"He has been destroyed financially by the robbery, and the family faces leaving their home.

"The was a violent, personal robbery in the home."

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