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A 25-year-old has been jailed after shooting another man in the leg in Winsford.
Daniel Evans, who was living in Chirkdale Street, Liverpool, committed the serious offence after having a row with a woman in the early hours of Monday 14 October 2019.
The woman’s brother assisted her in removing Evans from an address in Denbigh Drive, Winsford.
Shortly afterwards, Evans returned to the property with a handgun and shot the brother, a 26-year-old man from Winsford, in the leg at point-blank range.
The bullet passed through the victim’s calf and lodged itself in a door handle.
Evans then left the address before pushing over a milkman and fleeing the area in his refrigerated van.
The man who was shot was taken to Leighton Hospital in an ambulance.
After receiving treatment for the gunshot wound, he was discharged the following day.
Officers investigating the incidents identified Evans as the offender.
He was arrested in Liverpool on Saturday 7 December following a sustained manhunt.
After refusing to answer any questions in custody, Evans was charged with causing grievous bodily harm (GBH) with intent, possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life, assault by beating and intimidating a witness in relation to the siblings.
He was also charged with taking a motor vehicle without consent and assaulting the milkman and causing him actual bodily harm in relation to the refrigerated van theft.
Evans admitted taking the refrigerated van without consent but pleaded not guilty to all the other charges.
After hearing all the evidence that officers had gathered – including witness statements, CCTV footage and telecoms data – a jury convicted Evans of the GBH and firearm offences following a four-day trial at Chester Crown Court, which ended on Thursday 10 September.
Evans was found not guilty of assaulting the woman.
The assault charge regarding the milkman was ordered to lie on file and the intimidating a witness charge was discontinued on the judge’s instruction.
Evans returned to the court to be sentenced on Monday 2 November.
He was handed a 20-year sentence, which comprises of 15 years in prison and five years on licence.
Detective Chief Inspector Simon Draco said: “I would like to thank all the officers and detectives at Northwich Local Policing Unit that have been involved in this complex investigation for all their hard work and determination to secure the convictions and bring Daniel Evans to justice.
“The officer in the case, Detective Constable Kelly Mitchell, deserves particular praise for her focus and tenacity.
“The appalling actions of Evans in the early hours of Monday 14 October 2019 prove that he is a very dangerous man.
“Evans had access to a viable firearm and showed that he is willing to cause serious harm to others.
“When sentencing Evans at Liverpool Crown Court, Judge Nicholas Woodward described him as ‘a dangerous’ man with ‘a history of committing criminal offences’.
“He said it is ‘inevitable that victims in such cases are caused a significant degree of harm’ and that ‘the impact of such offending is long-lasting’.
“Thankfully, the man Evans shot has physically recovered from the injury he sustained.
“As the judge said, it is only down to ‘good fortune’ that he did not sustain a more serious injury.
“The consequences of the firearm incident could have been far worse.
“I am pleased that Evans has been convicted of serious offences he was charged with on the back of the dedication of the investigation team and the strength of the evidence that they gathered against him.
“Evans is now behind bars facing the consequences of his actions and I hope that this case and the substantial custodial sentence that he has been handed by the judge deters others from possessing firearms and committing similar offences.”
Evans stole the refrigerated van in Gladstone Street, Winsford.
It was recovered on Station Road in the town in the days that followed the shooting.
Enquiries are ongoing in a bid to find the handgun he used.
David Keane, police and crime commissioner for Cheshire, said: “My thoughts are with the man who was shot in this case, but incidents of this nature understandably concern the whole community.
“I know that Cheshire Constabulary does considerable work to tackle serious crime and take dangerous offenders and the weapons that they arm themselves with off our streets.
“I want to take this opportunity to praise all the officers involved in securing this conviction and making our society a safer place.”
Chief Inspector Gary Smith, of Northwich Local Policing Unit, which covers Winsford, added: “Firearms incidents are rare in the area, but when they do occur we are committed to doing all that we can to trace the people responsible and bring them to justice, as can be seen with this case.
“The team here are committed to doing all that we can to make the area an even safer place for everyone.
“However, we cannot achieve this alone. We need the support of the local community.
“If you are concerned about crime in our community, or if you have any information in relation to incidents that have taken place, I urge you to contact us on 101 or speak to a local officer.
“Alternatively, if you do not feel comfortable speaking to the police directly, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
“By working together we can make the area an even better place to live, work and visit.”