Three men who carried out 'frenzied' gun and hammer attack in Cornwall jailed

(L) Gavin Smale, (M) Paul Amoah and (R) Lee Mitchell have been jailed.

Three burglars have been jailed for more than 43 years after a "frenzied" attack in Redruth, which left one victim lucky to be alive.

Paul Amoah, Lee Mitchell and Gavin Smale were all sentenced after they broke into a property in the town armed with a gun and hammer, seriously injuring two people.

One victim was shot during the break-in and the bullet, which is still lodged in his chest, missed his heart by just two milimetres.

Another was bludgeoned in the head after being chased up the stairs as he tried to flee his attackers.

Paul Amoah, 39 of Hawthorn Close, Redruth, was found guilty of attempted murder, wounding with intent, and aggravated burglary. He was sentenced to 27 years in prison.

Lee Mitchell, 28 of Edmond Road, Redruth, was found guilty of two counts of wounding with intent and aggravated burglary and was sentenced to nine years in prison.

Gavin Smale, 44 of Fore Street, Redruth, was found guilty of unlawful wounding and aggravated burglary and was sentenced to seven years in prison.

The trio were convicted on 30 January at Truro Crown Court following a two-week trial.

The court heard how Amoah, Mitchell, and Smale broke into a property on Drump Road in Redruth on 6 July 2023 armed with a Baretta handgun and a hammer.

Just eight minutes later, Amoah, Mitchell, and Smale were seen scattering away from the house leaving two men seriously injured after having been shot and bludgeoned.

The victims, who were known to the offenders, all lived at the property and had been at home when Amoah and Mitchell knocked on the back door.

One of the occupants in the house said he could see a figure at the back door holding a gun and raised the alarm to the other occupants, just as Amoah and Mitchell started breaking down the back door.

Once inside, Amoah and Mitchell, who were wearing balaclavas, began their violent attack, with Amoah shooting one of the victims in the back as he tried to flee.

Mitchell chased down another victim as he ran upstairs by hitting him repeatedly over the head with a hammer.

After hearing the attack, a third victim barricaded himself in his room upstairs but sustained a cut to the head after one of the offenders tried to force his way into his room.

The men then ransacked the house taking hundreds of pounds and one of the victim’s passports.

The gunshot victim was rushed to hospital with life-threatening injuries, and underwent multiple operations and blood transfusions.

One of the victims sustained lacerations to his head and arms in the hammer attack.

Police were alerted by the ambulance service with reports that a man had been shot in the back and armed response officers were deployed to the scene, and a manhunt was launched.

Smale was located and arrested a short while later in a field. Meanwhile, Amoah was found after hiding under a sofa at an address on Cardew Close.

Mitchell was arrested the next day, and all the suspects were taken into custody, charged and remanded.

Following searches inside the property on Harmony Close, a handgun was found wrapped in cloth in a children’s toy basket. DNA evidence on the gun proved to be Amoah’s.

A hammer left behind at the crime scene was found to have Mitchell’s DNA evidence on it along with the victim’s blood.

Detective Inspector Dave Egan, senior investigating officer, said: “Amoah kept a dangerous firearm at his home without fear.

"He brazenly took it out on the streets and into another person’s home with the intent on causing serious harm to someone who, when faced with such a weapon, had no choice but to flee resulting in him to be shot in the back as he did so.

“The victim suffered extremely serious, life-threatening injuries, had to go through multiple operations and is extremely lucky to be alive today. He avoided being killed by a couple of millimetres.

“While firearms offences are extremely rare in this county, sadly we see all too often people losing their lives or being seriously injured through drug-related violence.

“It should also send a message that if you arm yourself with any kind of a weapon, the chances are you will end up behind bars, seriously or fatally hurting someone, or getting seriously hurt yourself. It really isn’t worth the risk.”

If you have any information or concerns about someone carrying a weapon, you can report it to Devon and Cornwall Police online here, or 999 in an emergency.