Violence at court as gun man is jailed

Adrian Thorsby ...jailed.
Adrian Thorsby ...jailed.

A CONVICTED sex offender from Burton Agnes was jailed amid scenes of violence as he was sentenced for blasting a 20-bore shotgun through the living-room window of a house where four children were playing.

Adrian Thorsby, 49, arrived at Hull Crown Court for sentence facing anger and violence last Friday, February 8.

He was hit on the head with a woman’s handbag and suffered a bloody nose as he was wrestled to the ground by four police officers as he threatened protestors who repeatedly called him a paedophile.

One man was arrested amid scenes of swearing, threats and scuffles with police. Thorsby had to be taken into police custody for his own protection and more than 10 people were ejected from the building as a special police support team were called to break it up.

Unruffled by the scenes Crown barrister David Hall told the court Thorsby took revenge on those who had legitimately told of his conviction two days after being convicted of sex offences against a six-year-old girl.

He said Thorsby drove 25 miles from his home in Rudston Walk, in Burton Agnes, to Kilnsea Grove, in Hull, with a shotgun to put a stop to rumors that were spreading of his conviction.

“He parked outside the house and aimed the gun out of the front driver’s side window,” said Mr Hall. He discharged the cartridge into the front downstairs window.

“There were four children in the house aged from five to 14 months. They had awoken early and were playing games on the TV.

“Thorsby was not to know the whereabouts of the children at that time in the morning. One of the serious aggravating features is the gun has never been recovered.”

The shotgun attack took place on November 20, 2011 while Thorsby was on bail awaiting sentence after being convicted of sexual offences.

He was sentenced in May, 2012 and jailed for 10 months for two offences of engaging in a sexual act in the presence of a child including getting her to dress up to fuel his sexual appetite.

He appeared for sentence last Friday after admitting one charge of possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence at an earlier hearing.

Jailing Thorsby for four and a half years, Judge Graham Robinson told him: “It is clear, that following your conviction word spread like wild fire and you were labeled as a paedophile. I have no doubt that made life difficult for you.

“Whether or not you deserve that label is not for me to say. What is plain is you acquired a 20-bore shotgun and drove from Burton Agnes to Hull and used it.

“I bear in mind the motivation for the offence of the taunts to your family but this does not amount to mitigation.”

Defence barrister Rodney Ferm said: “He intended to cause serious violence and that is not something he can get away from. Nothing I can say can ever justify the use of a shotgun in circumstance life this.”

Speaking outside court Andrew Steen whose home was attacked said: “He could have killed us. There were four children in the house – one of whom has cystic fibrosis.

“We heard the blast but luckily we were upstairs on a Saturday morning playing with the kids. Normally we would have been downstairs setting up the Wii for the children.”

Lisa Thompson, who was also in the house at the time of the attack, said: “He is a dangerous man. What person carries a shotgun and then uses it with four children in a house?

“It all started because I had an argument with his wife and said he was a paedophile before his court case. I have been proven right. He is a paedophile.”

Mr Ferm urged the judge to pass on to the prison service Thorsby’s fears for the future. He said Thorsby had made one failed suicide attempt at Fraisthorpe beach where he took valium, but not enough to kill him.

He said: “He has a very great fear of what will happen to him when he is in custody. It will be helpful if he can be moved away from the city as the arms of others can reach inside that institution.”

Thorsby is the subject of a five-year Sexual Offence Prevention Order.