Page last updated at 18:36 GMT, Wednesday, 29 April 2009 19:36 UK

Robbers convicted of Pc shooting

Wayen McDonald (left) and David Tyrell

Two robbers have been found guilty of shooting a police officer during a raid at a Lancashire pub.

Wayne McDonald, 47, fired at Pc Katie Johnson when she disturbed a robbery at the Hospital Inn in Bamber Bridge.

At Preston Crown Court, McDonald was found guilty of wounding with intent and robbery but was cleared of attempted murder.

David Tyrell, 39, of Swinton, was also cleared of attempted murder but convicted of wounding with intent.

He had earlier admitted the robbery of more than £12,000 from the pub.

Emergency call

Rudolph Mancini, 55, and Peter Plaskowksi, 28, a former chef at the Hospital Inn, were convicted by the jury of robbery for their involvement in planning the crime, which took place on the morning of New Year's Eve 2007.

Pc Katie Johnson
Pc Johnson was hit by 12 pellets in the top of her leg outside the Hospital Inn

Pc Johnson had recently qualified as a dog handler and was among the first officers to arrive at the scene in Brindle Lane following an emergency call from the pub landlord.

She said she had seen a "big, broad man" wearing a balaclava come out of the pub who, without warning, shot her in the left thigh.

She suffered 12 pellet wounds in her thigh.

Giving evidence at the trial, Pc Johnson said she thought, "my career was over, my life was over", as she was rushed to hospital.

Lancashire Assistant Chief Constable Andy Cooke said the case "demonstrates the levels of bravery shown by officers and the dangers they face".

Earlier, McDonald and Tyrell walked into the pub through the open back door.

'Extreme' violence

The masked pair threatened to shoot two female cleaners and the couple who ran the pub.

After the shooting McDonald handed himself in just under an hour later and was said to have told the arresting officer: "I have just shot one of your women."

Tyrell, of Lions Drive, Swinton, tried to avoid detection by hiding in a hole at a timber yard for more than 12 hours.

Peter Plaskowksi (left) and Rudolph Mancini
Peter Plaskowski and Rudolph Mancini were involved in planning the raid

Both raiders collaborated with planners Mancini, of Division Lane, Blackpool, and "inside man" Plaskowski, of Dean Street, Bamber Bridge.

Det Supt Neil Hunter, of Lancashire police, said: "The level of violence used in this crime, which was gratuitous and appalling, was extreme and completely unnecessary.

"Let no-one be in any doubt this was not a single act of random violence, but a premeditated, calculated and targeted brutal attack on innocent people by violent individuals who would stop at nothing, which included shooting a police officer in full uniform at close range and pistol-whipping the chef of the pub."

All four defendants will be sentenced on 15 May.

The Recorder of Preston, Judge Anthony Russell QC, told the four men they should expect "lengthy custodial sentences".



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