Page last updated at 15:30 GMT, Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Pc 'lucky in pub raid shooting'

Pc Katie Johnson
Pc Johnson was hit by 12 pellets in the top of her leg, the court heard

A policewoman was lucky not to be killed or seriously wounded when she was shot during an armed robbery at a pub, a court heard.

Raiders at the Hospital Inn in Bamber Bridge, Lancashire, shot Pc Katie Johnson on New Year's Eve 2007, Preston Crown Court was told.

Pc Johnson suffered 12 pellet wounds in her left thigh.

David Tyrell, 37, of Lions Drive, Swinton, and Wayne McDonald, 46, of no fixed address, deny attempted murder.

They also deny wounding with intent. David Tyrell pleaded guilty to robbery and possession of a firearm.

Wayne McDonald denies robbery along with Rudolph Mancini, 55, of Division Lane, Blackpool, and Peter Plaskowski, 28, of Dean Street, Bamber Bridge.

Mr McDonald has also pleaded not guilty to possessing a sawn-off shotgun and a pistol.

'Robber confronted'

Two balaclava-clad men entered the premises and threatened to shoot two female cleaners and the couple who ran the pub, the jury was told.

Landlord Anthony Gornall managed to call 999 seconds before he was attacked by the raiders.

The robbers tied all four up and left them face down in the bathroom of the pub's living quarters as they made off with more than 12,000 in cash, the court heard.

The Hospital Inn, Bamber Bridge
Pc Johnson was injured outside the Hospital Inn

Anthony Cross QC, prosecuting, said Pc Johnson was among a number of officers who arrived at the scene of the raid and confronted one of the robbers, Wayne McDonald, as he stepped out of the Hospital Inn.

She made her way from the car park with her dog, Chaos, towards the pub.

Mr Cross said: "She heard noises from the doorway and suddenly the main door was opened from within.

"She saw a large man emerge. It was McDonald. He stopped in his tracks upon seeing the officer. He was plainly not expecting the police."

He added: "She shouted at him to stay where he was. He shouted something back, simultaneously producing a sawn-off shotgun.

"Immediately he raised it to shoulder height, pointed it at her and shot her. She received an injury to her left thigh. The gunman had used a deadly weapon. It was but good fortune that she was not killed or seriously wounded."

Mr McDonald, formerly of Crossway, Didsbury, Manchester, then retreated inside the pub as other police officers backed away, including Pc Johnson who was still able to move, it was alleged.

'Inside man'

He fled moments later but gave himself up to a woman police officer about 50 minutes after the raid - as a police helicopter combed the scene and officers surrounded the area.

The jury was told that Wayne McDonald disposed of a rucksack containing the stolen cash and a shotgun and a pistol while he was on the run.

His fellow armed robber, David Tyrell, "literally went to ground" in a bid to make a getaway later in the day, Mr Cross said.

He dug a hole near a timber merchants and covered himself with tarpaulin. Mr Tyrell was spotted walking on a nearby railway line by police later that night and told them that he was staying with a friend, co-accused Rudolph Mancini.

Mr Cross said Wayne McDonald was caught on CCTV making a mobile phone call to Mr Mancini before he was arrested. The phone was later abandoned and has not been recovered.

The prosecutor added that Wayne McDonald and David Tyrell collaborated with planners Rudolph Mancini and an "inside man", Peter Plaskowski, who was employed as a chef at the pub.

The case continues.


Two men deny attempted murder and two deny being involved in the robbery

Print Sponsor

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific