COVENTRY killer Andrew Luke Henson was today starting an eight- year jail sentence for the drugs-related shooting of a man in a city pub.
A jury at Birmingham Crown Court unanimously cleared self-confessed drugs dealer Henson of murder but found him guilty of manslaughter on the basis of provocation because he was being assaulted with knives and bottles at the time.
Lee Michael Moore and Paul Trevor Case, who were jointly charged along with Henson of murder, were acquitted.
The jury took a little less than three hours to agree on their verdict and reject the claim that the three had plotted to kill Richard Waring, of Potters Green, Coventry.
Father-of-two Mr Waring was shot in the back with a sawn-off shotgun in the Crow in the Oak pub in Lockhurst Lane, Foleshill, on January 29 last year.
Jailing Henson, Judge Michael Astill said: “The evidence clearly shows you were subjected to a violent and vicious attack by others. It was a concerted attack when you were defenceless and alone. You reacted by losing your self control.”
Henson, aged 26, of Kingfield Road, Foleshill, was being beaten by a group of men in the pub when Mr Moore and Mr Case arrived to meet him.
Mr Moore was carrying a sawn-off shotgun retrieved from under the floorboards of his home in Guild Road, Foleshill. He claimed he brought it at the request of Henson who was going to pass it on to a criminal contact.
Mr Case took the gun and held it in the air to try to stop the attack on his friend. Henson tossed aside a bar stool he was using to fend off bottles and blows, grabbed the gun and shot Mr Waring, who was leaving the pub.
Although Mr Waring’s friends were attacking Henson, the court heard he was not involved.
Afterwards all three went on the run, claiming they feared reprisal attacks, but were arrested a few days later.
The judge recorded not guilty verdicts against Mr Moore, aged 26, and Mr Case, aged 32, of Cheylesmore, in relation to a further offence of possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life. The same charge against Henson was allowed to lie on the file.
After the hearing Det Supt Barrie Simpson, who led the investigation, said: “It is another case where drugs and firearms have cost a life. We must continue the effort to combat drugs and firearms in the West Midlands.”
Thanks to Lee Garrett for the tip off.