Hattersley pub shooter jailed for 26 years

A gunman has been jailed for 26 years after a shooting outside Hattersley pub the Harehill Tavern. 

The shooting happened last November and left the victim - a man in his 30s - with injuries to his abdomen for which he required surgery.

Manchester Crown Court heard that Aaron Ward, 26, had carried out the shooting after a group of family and friends had gathered at the venue to celebrate a baby gender reveal party.

While the party was in progress witnesses noticed that a vehicle kept driving around the pub. Passengers, including Ward, then started shouting abuse at those attending the party before initially driving off. 

But a short time later, Ward returned once again to the pub in a different vehicle. He continued to drive around and made threats towards party-goers. 

By this time, the victim had also made his way to the Harehill Tavern. 

Following this, the court heard how Ward was seen in the car waving a handgun in the direction of those standing outside the pub. 

At this point the victim approached the vehicle, but was shot at by Ward.   

Ward, of HMP Leeds, was sentenced to a total of 26 years and three months in prison for the offence. Ward will spend five years on licence, having previously pleaded guilty to attempted murder. 

Senior Investigating Officer Duncan Thorpe, of GMP’s Major Incident Support Unit, said: “In November of last year Aaron Ward, in a fit of anger and rage, made the horrifying decision to brandish a gun in front of so many people. He had absolutely no respect for the safety of others and for the potentially catastrophic repercussions of his actions. 

“It is only down to sheer luck, coupled with the best efforts of emergency services staff who treated the victim in hospital, that today Ward is not being sentenced for murder. 

“This being said, it is important not to underestimate the injuries sustained by the victim as the bullet narrowly missed vital organs and thankfully he is recovering well.   

“I hope that this operation - led by a dedicated team of detectives - shows our commitment in bringing those who threaten the people of Greater Manchester to justice.” 

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