Kent

'Mayhem' on a quiet street in Maidstone

Jack Treeby
Image caption Jack Treeby died at the scene after being run over by the Range Rover

It was a sight barely believable to the residents of the normally quiet Maidstone street.

Two men lay on the ground suffering from serious injuries, damaged cars littered the road and one, a Ford Mondeo, was ablaze.

Gunshots had been fired and the scene was described as "mayhem" by police.

The chaos ended with one man seriously injured and another dead.

It appears the carnage stemmed from a feud sparked by a disputed legacy in the Treeby family.

Youngest son Gary Treeby inherited the family farm, Broadview, at Lidsing in 2007 and also controlled the access to a piece of land left to his siblings.

Police believe a dispute over the land resulted in Gary being shot and his brother Jack being run over and killed in December 2009.

A third brother, Bill, 50, his wife, Charity, and their sons Billy, 29, and George, 23, were later jointly charged with murdering Jack and attempting to murder Gary.

The three men were found guilty of murdering Jack, and also attempting to murder Gary.

Charity Treeby, 51, was found guilty of grievous bodily harming Gary with intent.

'Indiscriminate shooting'

Emergency services received dozens of 999 calls from the public as the bitterness in the Treeby family spilled out on to Quarry Road, in the Coombe Farm estate, on 27 December.

Det Chief Insp Rob Vinson said police, fire and ambulance services encountered chaos.

Jack was dying from multiple head and chest injuries after being hit by a Range Rover and Gary had been beaten up and shot in the leg.

"It was an inter-family argument that led to chaos on the streets of Kent," said Mr Vinson.

"There was indiscriminate shooting and mayhem in the street - not a situation you expect to have to deal with in Maidstone."

Police believe the trouble began on Christmas Eve with a family row in The Harrow pub in Lidsing, opposite Broadview farm, when Gary had to be separated from his nephew, Billy.

Image caption The "mayhem" took place in Quarry Road, after the family gathered at sister Mary Treeby's house

During the next three days, threats were made in phone calls which flew between the family members who then converged at the terraced home of Jack and Gary's sister, Mary.

CCTV cameras in Quarry Road captured much of what happened next as the Range Rover and Mondeo, both linked to Bill and his sons, Billy and George, crashed up and down the road, ramming into other vehicles.

Maidstone Crown Court heard the four defendants were in the cars and armed with a 12-bore shotgun.

The jury saw dramatic footage of the events pieced together from the CCTV images but the moments when Gary was shot and Jack was actually hit by the Range Rover were missed when a CCTV operator changed the camera tapes.

But the court did see someone hanging out of the Range Rover with a gun and heard audio of gunshots captured by a neighbour's CCTV.

In court, the four defendants gave conflicting accounts of what happened. Bill Treeby claimed he was driving the Mondeo, but Billy told jurors his father was in fact at the wheel of the Range Rover.

Image caption Gary Treeby was shot and beaten up but survived and gave evidence in court

Charity Treeby denied she had any part in the events, but Mary Treeby, who said she had a "grandstand" view, said all four defendants were in the vehicles.

Charity was arrested on the evening of 27 December but her husband and sons fled the scene. The Range Rover was later found burnt out in Lamberhurst and the three were arrested over the next few days.

Gary was in hospital for 12 days recovering from the shooting and had to return for a series of operations and skin grafts.

But he made a full recovery and appeared as a witness for the prosecution at the trial, telling jurors that as he was being beaten up he heard his nephew George laughing at him.

As prosecutor Jonathan Higgs told the jury: "This was not an accident. This group of four set out deliberately to kill people who were present in Quarry Road."

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