A judge believes the prison sentence she passed recently on a man who fired a shotgun at the window of a house where three people were sleeping was not incorrect.

Aaron Maddison, 31, received a sentence of 67 months at Durham Crown Court on October 18 for the firearms offence, which was committed at a house in Trimdon Station, on Sunday November 13, last year.

The court heard the female householder was sleeping with her young child in an upstairs bedroom and an ex-boyfriend was on a downstairs sofa, when they were awoken by as loud bang at about 7.30am.

On examination she found the middle of three panes in the front window of the house had been put out in the blast, which cost her £850 to replace.

Maddison was recognised carrying the full-length shotgun following police examination of cctv footage taken in the area.

The Northern Echo: Judge believes 115-month sentence passed on Aaron Maddison at Durham Crown Court recently does not

He was prohibited from possessing a firearm for five years following a conviction in April 2019.

Maddison admitted possessing a firearm when prohibited and using a firearm with intent to cause a fear of violence.

The court heard that he was also sentenced in October for a joint robbery with an accomplice at the Trimdons Fisheries, in Church Road, Trimdon, in August 2020.

He and his co-accused, who were carrying metal poles, snatched about £5,000 from the owner, who was cashing up the takings for the week.

Despite their attempts to conceal their identities, they were each recognised, having visited the premises earlier in the evening and both were also known to the staff.

Judge Jo Kidd, who said the offences represented “an escalation” of Maddison’s offending, passed a four-year sentence for the robbery but made it consecutive to the 67-months for the firearms offences, making a total jail term of 115 months (nine-years-and-seven months).

The case came back before Judge Kidd, today (Monday December 4) sitting at Teesside Crown Court, after representations in an email from Maddison’s representing solicitors believing she may have made an error in calculating the sentence for the firearms offences in October.

It stated a belief that they should not attract a mandatory five-year minimum sentence due to the specification of the weapon.

But Judge Kidd stated that the firearm was discharged and there was, “a high risk of serious disorder, given that he was seen walking through residential streets armed with a shotgun”.

She said: “He came to the front of a residential house where people were sleeping and he discharged it into the window of that property.”

Judge Kidd said the sentencing range for such an offence is between four and eight years, with a starting point of six years.

She said an aggravating feature was that the offence was committed while Maddison was on bail for the robbery offence.

See more court stories from The Northern Echo by clicking here

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But she said it attracted a 20-per cent discount, “at most”, in recognition of the defendant’s guilty pleas.

In conclusion she told the court: “It doesn’t seem to me that there’s any basis for me to alter the sentence.”

She added that if the defence believe it still to be an issue she would have it mentioned again in court, but with the original counsel, from the October sentencing hearing, present.