'Cantankerous' pensioner jailed for shooting former friend in chest

Kier Huxtable

Kier Huxtable was jailed for 18 years at Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Suffolk Constabulary

A 'cantankerous' pensioner who shot his former friend in the chest for no apparent reason has been jailed for 18 years.

Kier Huxtable appeared at Ipswich Crown Court on Wednesday to be sentenced for the attempted murder of David Wright on October 11, 2019.

The 80-year-old had admitted possessing a prohibited weapon, but denied attempted murder and was convicted by a jury within less than an hour of a trial last November.

Peter Clark, prosecuting, said Huxtable had known Mr Wright for about eight years.

In that time, Mr Clark told the court, the pair had maintained a "fractious" and "somewhat curious" relationship. 

Mr Clark said Huxtable entered Mr Wright's home, in Pond Lane, Brandon while the 47-year-old was sitting on the sofa, speaking to his parents on the phone.

The court heard how Huxtable pointed a foot-long double-barrelled handgun at Mr Wright's chest and declared: "This is what you deserve", before pulling the trigger. 

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Despite bleeding profusely from wounds to his shoulder and chest, Mr Wright grabbed the gun and wrestled Huxtable to the floor.

A concerned neighbour then entered the scene and threw the weapon out of harm's way before the arrival of police.

Huxtable, of Stanford Road, Weeting, denied trying to kill Mr Wright, claiming he was physically incapable of pulling the trigger.

Mr Wright was now said to be living in constant fear of a heart attack as a result of gunshot debris being dislodged from where it still remains in his arm.

During the trial, Mr Wright told jurors he was absolutely convinced that Huxtable was intent on murder.

Steven Dyble, mitigating, said Huxtable would inevitably face a long period of imprisonment, but asked the court to consider his advanced years, ailing health, lack of any such serious previous convictions, and the deprived conditions experienced on remand in prison during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Judge Emma Peters said that, apart from a disagreement over parking, and that Huxtable had some form of paranoid delusion, there was no ready explanation for the shooting. 

"For some bizarre and inexplicable reason, you were angry with this man, Mr Wright," added Judge Peters.

"It seems to me that you are a man who holds grudges. You are a cantankerous man who doesn't like it when people don't bend to your will."

Detective Constable Andy Day, of West CID in Bury St Edmunds, said: "Throughout the trial, Kier Huxtable showed no remorse or explanation for his actions that night.

"The victim - who has suffered considerable physical and mental trauma as a result of this attack - has made a good recovery, but his injuries still require monitoring.

"Despite his age, Huxtable has shown himself to be a very dangerous individual and so I am very pleased with the sentence handed down today and I hope this will finally provide some closure and reassurance for the victim and his family.”