Hampshire Incidents

Bringing you breaking news from across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight

Two men jailed for a total of 22 years after a firearm was discharged into a car in Yateley

Two men have been jailed for a total of 22 years after a firearm was discharged into a car in Yateley last year


Officers launched an investigation after the weapon was fired towards a Mercedes on Reading Road on Tuesday 16 March 2021.


Elliot Ayres, 18, of Merryman Drive in Crowthorne, and Paul John Stevens, also known as Johnny Stevens, 20, of Stilwell Close in Yateley, were sentenced at Winchester Crown Court today (Friday 4 February) following a five-week trial.


Ayres and Stevens were convicted of possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life on Tuesday 14 December. They were found not guilty of attempted murder.


They were today sentenced as follows:


– Elliot Ayres was sentenced to 11 years in prison


– Paul John Stevens was sentenced to 11 years in prison


The court heard how at just before 3.30pm on 16 March, Ayres and Stevens were in a stolen black Fiat 500 on Reading Road when they saw the victim’s vehicle, a black Mercedes.


The driver of the Fiat pulled in front of the Mercedes and stopped, blocking the victim from being able to drive forward up the road, before pulling out a shotgun and aiming it at the driver of the Mercedes.


In an effort to get away, the victim drove up onto a grass verge.


Simultaneously, Stevens fired a single shot into the side of the Mercedes – causing significant damage.


Luckily, no one was injured in the incident.


The victims, who were in the Mercedes, were two 24-year-old men from Surrey and are believed to have been targeted because of mistaken identity.


The court then also heard how shortly afterwards, at around 3.40pm, a firearm was heard to be discharged in the area of Croft Lane, Yateley.


The black Fiat 500, which had been stolen in January 2021, was located burnt out on Valley View in the Thames Valley area on 17 March.


The firearm, a sawn-off double-barrelled shotgun, was recovered by police following a search of woodland near the A30 in Hartley Wintney on Wednesday 25 August.

After the sentencing hearing, Detective Inspector Daniel Voller, the Senior Investigating Officer, said: “This was a terrifying incident for both victims that has had an ongoing impact on their lives.


“Firearms are extremely dangerous and pose a real threat to our communities.


“I hope that this case demonstrates our ongoing commitment to tackling firearms and weapon related crime and bring perpetrators to justice.”


If you have any concerns around someone who may be involved with firearms or weapon related crime, please let us know by calling 101.


Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. In an emergency, always dial 999.