Tyne & Wear

Sunderland teenager shot on moped 'will fight to recover'

Kyle Johnson Image copyright Northumbria Police/PA
Image caption Surgeons could not remove all the air rifle pellet, which penetrated 10cm into Kyle's brain

A teenager shot in the head while riding on the back of a moped says he has the "fight and determination" to recover.

Kyle Johnson, 15, was seriously injured and still has fragments of air rifle pellet lodged in his brain.

Steven Thompson, 39, admitted shooting the teenager in Sunderland in October and was jailed for 11 years and 10 months at Newcastle Crown Court.

"He won't make me feel like this forever," said Kyle.

He has lost most movement in the left side of his body and can only walk for short spells, using a wheelchair for longer distances.

"I have the fight and determination to make my life better, and I will," he said.

Image copyright Family photograph/PA
Image caption Kyle Johnson had loved being in the outdoors

"I just want to get back to being my old self. I will get there one day."

A court order preventing Kyle being identified has now been lifted by the judge, Northumbria Police said.

His mother Lindsy said is was "truly heart-breaking to see a once active young boy fighting to get his body and mind back to what it once was".

"He is inspirational and his determination is unbelievable," she said.

In March, Thompson, of Hewitt Avenue, admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent and possession of an air rifle without a firearms certificate.

Image copyright Northumbria Police
Image caption Thompson admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent

He had been angered by the noise of the bike, the court heard.

Det Insp Ed Small said Kyle was lucky to survive and had been "extremely brave throughout this investigation".

"No 15-year-old should have their freedom or dignity taken away from them in this way," he said.

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