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Schizophrenic Guilty Of Shooting Cop On Doorstep
A man suffering from schizophrenia has been convicted of attempted murder after shooting a police officer on his doorstep before cycling away laughing.
James Leslie, 38, shot PC Suzanne Hudson through his front door with a sawn-off shotgun as she and colleague PC Richard Whiteley were making inquiries about a dispute between neighbours in Leeds last December.
As PC Whiteley radioed for back-up for his stricken colleague, Leslie jeered at the pair, saying: "Do you want some more, you pussies?"
PC Hudson, originally from Nelson, Lancashire, had to have emergency surgery on her neck following the shooting - her right hand was badly injured by shotgun pellets.
Richard Wright QC, prosecuting, said: "It is simply a matter of luck that the defendant did not kill PC Hudson."
The jury at Leeds Crown Court heard how PC Whiteley pulled his badly injured colleague away from Leslie's flat and onto the main road.
Leslie appeared riding his bike moments later, still carrying the gun.
"He brought it up to make it quite clear he had it," PC Whiteley said.
"I thought he was going to use it again on us. I thought I was going to die. My life flashed in front of my eyes. I thought Suzie was as well. I thought, he has used it once, he is going to use it again."
PC Hudson had initially not realised she had been shot.
She told the court: "It was only when PC Whiteley was on the police radio telling the control room what happened that he used words like 'Shots fired, officer down' at which point I obviously heard that and thought I must have been shot.
"That was the first point I had some sort of understanding of what had happened."
She looked at her palm and saw how badly she had been hurt.
"My fingers were splayed, my middle finger was at a 90-degree angle and there were pools of blood through my hand," she said.
She was also struggling to breathe and she realised her neck or throat was damaged.
"I felt like I was fading out," she said. "I couldn't move properly. I don't believe I lost any consciousness but I was very disorientated. It happened so quickly."
A manhunt was launched and Leslie was later arrested at a Subway sandwich shop.
He had admitted possessing a prohibited weapon and causing criminal damage but denied the other charges.
In court, he insisted he did not mean to fire the weapon, saying: "I'm not a nut job who's just going to shoot down police for no reason".
He said he had not taken his medicine for schizophrenia and did not realise police were at the door.
Following the conviction, it was revealed that Leslie had set fire to his cell and attacked a prison officer two days after the shooting.
Sentencing has been adjourned pending psychiatric assessment.