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'I got him - I shot one of them in the leg'
7:30am Saturday 27th October 2012 in News
A WOMAN caught up in a gun battle has described in court how her partner confessed he had shot a burglar outside their village home near Worcester.
Josephine Merrick and Malcolm White, who had been living together for five years, were watching a film when a gang smashed their lounge window.
Mr White armed himself from a gun cabinet, then went outside to confront the intruders at the property called Stocking Gobbetts in Stocking Lane, Whitbourne.
Mrs Merrick heard three shots fired before 62-year-old Mr White returned.
“I asked Malcolm, ‘Have you got anyone?’ He said that yes, he had. He’d shot one of them in the leg.”
Mrs Merrick said she had been “running around like a headless chicken” inside the house and was petrified throughout the 10-minute drama on October 5 last year.
They planned to carry away plants and steal equipment and any drug profits.
Robert Richards, aged 29, of Scholars Green, Birmingham, and 25-year-old Darren Randall, of Yardley Fields Road, Birmingham, deny aggravated attempted burglary.
Richards was allegedly hit in the right leg and now has a metal replacement leg. Mrs Merrick, who confirmed that cannabis was being cultivated in an outbuilding, told how someone began pounding on the lounge window at about 8pm.
“Malcolm got up and said ‘I’ll sort it. I’ll get the b*****ds’, or something like that,” she said.
He went out and she stayed in the hallway.
“I heard one gunshot fired followed by two cracks. I’ve lived in the country all my life and know the difference between a shotgun sound as opposed to the other two sounds,” she said.
“One voice said they’ve got him. There were at least three or four of them,” she said.
“There was a van facing towards Worcester on the road with its engine running and a car on the driveway. Malcolm came back in within minutes of the gunfire. I was hysterical.”
Mr White went out and Mrs Merrick went into the garden where she found 12 cable ties in a flower bed.
Prosecutor Stephen Thomas alleged the ties were to restrain the occupants while the gang gathered the cannabis plants. A bullet was found embedded in a garage fascia.
Mrs Merrick said: “I was running round in a blind panic, disorientated. Malcolm phoned the police.”
Mr White went with the police while she stayed in a hotel in Knightwick for the night. She also told the jury about an incident in November 2010 when a masked man walked into the lounge. A second “very big man” was standing over Mr White in the conservatory holding a spanner. The men left 10 minutes later.
The trial continues on Monday.