A “dangerous” teenager immersed in a “culture of gangs and guns”

A teenage gunman who opened fire in a store has been jailed. In an act stemming from “gang rivalry”, Jacob Richards, then aged 15, shot three times in the Cheadle Hulme store before shooting a passing delivery driver. No one was hurt.

Richards, now 18, also staged a petrol bomb attack on a family home weeks before opening fire inside and outside a local shop. He was labeled a danger to society by a judge who gave him an extended prison sentence of 12 years.

The offenses took place during a “short period of absolute chaos” in his life, Philip Barnes, defending, said. Judge Elizabeth Nicholls said his “offending and conduct has continued unabated” since his imprisonment.

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Richards, now 18, was jailed for a string of crimes, including his involvement in an arson attack at a family home; and conspiracy to possess other firearms revealed by prison phone call recordings.

Prosecutors said he became “firmly entrenched in a culture of gangs and guns.” He “bragged” about his crimes in raps, also captured in recorded calls from prison, Manchester Crown Court heard.

Following the shooting, Richards was held on remand at Wetherby Young Offenders Institution in Leeds. Among the series of 15 “serious” and “extremely serious” offenses for which he was convicted were punching and slapping a female prison guard; and stabbing a prison guard in the leg with an improvised weapon, probably a sharpened pen or paintbrush.

Prison staff allege he “frequently carries a weapon and is involved in frequent confrontations”, Judge Nicholls said. Michael Lavery, prosecuting, said: “There are two ongoing investigations into this defendant's conduct while in custody, both relating to the possession of improvised weapons, toothbrushes with razor blades attached.

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