Man shot rider from window

York Crown Court
York Crown Court

A man who shot a motorcyclist in a moment of drink-fuelled madness is facing a possible jail sentence.

Joe Edgar, 49, aimed at the motorcyclist with a pellet gun or air rifle, from a window at his home in Whitby.

The shot struck the man through the visor of his helmet and caused an injury which was not life-threatening, York Crown Court heard.

Edgar was arrested and charged with attempting to cause serious harm and using a firearm with intent to endanger life.

He denied the charges, claiming he was shooting at rats and the motorcyclist was caught in the crossfire.

A trial was due to take place on Tuesday, but Edgar, of Auckland Way, pleaded guilty to an alternative charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm before the jury was sworn in.

Prosecuting barrister Graham O’Sullivan said drink played a part in the shooting incident and Edgar’s defence counsel said her client suffered from obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress, anxiety and depression.

She asked for an adjournment so Edgar’s doctor and probation officers could provide a report on his mental-health issues.

Recorder Alistair Macdonald QC agreed to adjourn sentence to September 1.

He said: “I make no promises about what will happen to you.

“All options are open because firing an air rifle is a serious thing and you could have hurt this man very badly.”

Edgar was bailed until the sentence hearing on condition that he does not contact prosecution witnesses.