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24 May 2014, 07:02
A man has been jailed for 16 and a half years for shooting two of his former neighbours at a travellers' site near Brentwood.
The men were injured during a dispute off Goatswood Lane in Navestock at 3.30pm on 27th August 2013.
Following a six-week manhunt, Francis O'Donoghue was arrested in Southgate in north London.
At Woolwich Crown Court in April, the 27-year-old window fitter from Russell Avenue in Wood Green pleaded guilty to two counts of causing Grevious Bodily Harm with intent and one count of possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life.
Senior Investigating Officer, DCI Lucy Morris, said: "Francis O'Donoghue admitted deliberately shooting two people at close range with intent to cause them serious harm.
"It is by pure chance that the shots fired did not result in fatal injuries and this was not a double murder investigation.
"The significant prison sentence he has received today reflects the severity of his offending.
"During the course of the investigation, Francis O'Donoghue never showed any remorse for his actions, nor has he assisted us with the location of the illegal weapon. Instead he went on the run for six weeks and cost substantial police time and resources in locating him.
"However, he is not above the law. Following a thorough police investigation, he pleaded guilty due to the overwhelming evidence against him.
"I would like to thank those witnesses who had the strength and courage to come forward during this enquiry and I hope that his victims can put this matter behind them, now that they have made a full recovery."
Francis O'Donoghue was ordered to serve at least half the prison sentence, with the remainder on licence.