Dunmow man shot by Essex Police faces jail after changing plea to guilty

The crime scene in North Street, Dunmow

The crime scene in North Street, Dunmow - Credit: Archant

A Dunmow man, who was the first person to be shot by Essex Police in 31 years, faces jail after admitting firearms offences in September last year.

Reporters and camera crews gather at the crime scene in Dunmow

Reporters and camera crews gather at the crime scene in Dunmow - Credit: Archant

Stephen Debley, 48, of Knights Way, Dunmow, was today (February 17) remanded in custody until February 26 for sentence at Chelmsford Crown Court after changing his plea.

Having initially pleaded not guilty to two firearms charges and affray, he applied to Judge Christopher Ball QC to change his plea.

Afterwards, Judge Ball said the court needed more time for the sentencing hearing but the court was told that there would be a jail sentence.

Debley admitted having a replica Colt 45 airgun and a replica self-loading air pistol, both with intent to commit affray, and committing affray, all on September 1 2015.

He was shot by police and suffered leg injuries, and the matter was afterwards reported to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) for an investigation.

Judge Ball said: “It’s right to observe it’s an unusual case but the level of public disorder and the event - it’s very significant.”

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The judge added that there was “a background of depression”.

Sean Minihan, representing Debley, said psychiatric assessments had been carried out in respect of matters before and after the incident.

He added that Debley had been deemed “fit to plead” and that he did not suffer psychotic conditions, but had a prolonged history of mental disorder.