Dunmow man shot by Essex Police jailed for firearms offences

Crime Scene Dunmow

Crime Scene Dunmow - Credit: Archant

A Dunmow man who was shot by Essex Police last year has today (Friday) been jailed.

Stephen Debley, of Knights Way, called the force’s 101 number on September 1 to say he was going to harm himself and shoot at police officers.

The 48-year-old, using two air guns, took shots at a parked car at he junction of North Street and Knights Way. Debley repeatedly refused warnings from police officers to put his guns down.

Prosecutor Mark Roochove said: “He was saying he would shoot any copper.”

He was shot in the leg by an officer, hit with a baton and tasered in a bid to subdue him.

At Chelmsford Crown Court, where he earlier admitted two charges of possessing an imitation firearm and a further charge of affray, had consumed a cocktail of alcohol and anti-depressants on the morning.

Mitigating, Gary Ryan said: “During the 101 call he said ‘today is the day I go to bed.’

Most Read

“There had been a long history of depression and alcohol abuse.”

Debley, the first to be shot by Essex Police in 31 years, is still being treated for being shot in the leg.

Judge Patricia Lynch QC sentenced Debley to six years in jail for the firearm offences and two years for affray. The sentences will run concurrently.

She said: “I’m of the opinion it is a very sad case because you stand here before me as a man of relatively hitherto good character but these are some of the most serious offences which can come before the courts.

“It is serious because the people in Dunmow were almost certainly scared to death to see a man walking through the streets with two weapons – they weren’t to know they were imitation.

“In exactly the same way as people who throw themselves under trains and buses do not think of the drivers you did not think of the police officers.

“This is not the United States of America and the police in this country do not shoot to kill.”