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A jury has convicted a 32-year-old man of using a firearm to endanger the lives of police officers during a series of shooting incidents in Castle Cary described in court as a “rampage”.
Daniel Hannam, of no fixed address, used an illegally-held shotgun and cartridges to fire at two officers in the early hours of Wednesday 23 January, as they tried to get inside a property in Park Street, Castle Cary, in order to arrest him.
It followed an incident earlier in the evening in which Hannam tried to carry out a burglary at a McColl’s shop, during which he shot twice at a door, and another incident in which he tried to kidnap a man after getting into his car while armed with a shotgun.
Hannam admitted charges of possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, making use of a firearm with intent to resist arrest, attempted kidnap, and attempted burglary.
But after hearing all the evidence, a jury at Bristol Crown Court has cleared him of two counts of attempted murder. He was convicted of possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life. He is expected to be sentenced later this week.
Assistant Chief Constable Nikki Watson said:
“This was a fast-moving and highly dangerous situation and I’m immensely proud of the professionalism and bravery shown by all the officers involved in this operation.
“Daniel Hannam endangered the lives of officers as they tried to enter the property he was hiding inside and fired a shotgun from an upstairs window.
“Firearms incidents are thankfully few and far between in our force area, but when they do happen we have highly skilled, trained and dedicated officers ready to respond to keep the public safe, as they did that night.
“I was shocked when I viewed the officers’ body worn video footage and saw photos of the damage caused to a police vehicle. They are a testament to the danger these officers were facing in the line of duty and I’m relieved no-one was injured.”
Senior Investigating Officer, Det Ch Insp James Riccio said:
“It’s been extremely difficult for the officers involved in this incident, as well as for their families and loved ones, to relive their ordeal and see body worn video footage from that night replayed in court. It’s also extremely hard for investigators to watch this material knowing it was their colleagues who were put in danger.
“We’ve had a team of officers and staff investigating the series of offences committed by Hannam and I’d like to recognise the immense amount of work that has been undertaken to achieve justice.
“Hannam is a very dangerous individual and it’s clear his criminal behaviour was escalating to an alarming degree. I’m pleased he’s now been convicted of these very serious offences and can no longer pose a risk to public safety.”
Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said:
“I’m extremely proud of the brave firearms officers who dealt with this dangerous situation in such a professional and courageous way. There could have been a very different and tragic outcome to this incident but, thankfully, this was not the case and now Hannam has been brought to justice. It’s a stark reminder that every day, officers put their lives on the line and deal with violent situations to keep local people safe.”
Insp Andy Roebuck, chair of Avon and Somerset Police Federation, said:
“The deployed firearms officers reacted courageously and professionally during this very dangerous incident. The level of harm and violence levied towards these officers was frightening. I am full of praise for the officers and the manner that they dealt with this violent man.”