Stratford shooting: Estranged father locked up

A father-of-one who fired a sawn-off shotgun through a sleeping couple’s bedroom window then tried to escape in a stolen taxi has been jailed for six and a half years.

The terrified couple called police at 4.10am when Ricky Morgan, 24, fired the weapon into their east London home on June 24.

Officers arrived ten minutes later to find Morgan, revving a Ford Ka outside the house on Romford Road, Stratford, then trying to drive away.

They chased him to Prince Regents Lane, Custom House, where he ploughed into a roadside bank and limped off brandishing the gun, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.

He approached taxi driver Mohammed Rafik, who had witnessed the crash, demanded his car keys and pursued him down the road when he refused.

Morgan backed Mr Rafik into an alley, grabbed the keys and tried to drive off in the taxi.

But the defendant, who was later found to have been drinking, was in the car for less than two minutes before he got out, having stalled, and ran away.

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He was found by police cowering behind wheelie bins on Berwick Road, claiming to have had an “argument with his missus.”

Officers later recovered a gun, two spent and two live cartridges, a pair of gloves and a balaclava from the scenes of his crimes.

Peter Nugent, prosecuting, said Morgan’s victims had all been “very frightened” by his behaviour.

eading a statement from Mr Rafik, he said: “I thought he would really hurt me if I didn’t hand over the keys.

“He had something tucked into his belt – I didn’t see what it was, but I thought it might be some kind of weapon.”

On arrest, the defendant refused to answer any questions and tested positive for alcohol, with a reading of 45 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 mgs.

He has numerous previous convictions for assault causing actual bodily harm, robbery, assaulting a police officer and aggravated vehicle taking.

Morgan was banned from driving for 12 months but spared an indeterminate jail term, after probation officers decided he was not a high risk to the public.

Michael Neofytou, defending, said: “When the defendant pleaded guilty to this indictment, the judge told him ‘you can’t change what’s happened, but you can change the future.’

“This was a young man committing an offence in drink, under pressure from others.

“He has a child and it causes him some distress that there’s no contact with it, and you can see why.”

The defendant pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life, robbery, possession of a firearm during a robbery, possession of a firearm, possession of a firearm while banned and drink driving on September 21.

He was sentenced to five and a half years in prison for the firearms offences plus a further year for the robbery, with a three-year extended license on his release.