Leeds man denies attempting to murder police officer with shotgun

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A police officer was shot with a sawn-off shotgun by a man who cycled off shouting “do you want some more you pussies?”, a jury has been told.

PC Suzanne Hudson lay “coughing and gurgling” in the street after being shot by James Leslie after going to his home in Headingley to investigate a complaint of criminal damage, the court heard.

Leslie, 37, is alleged to have come out of his flat after the shooting and said to PC Hudson and her colleague: “Do you want some more you pussies.”

PC Hudson, 33, had to undergo life-saving surgery after suffering injuries to her arteries in her neck.

Multiple pieces of lead shot penetrated her face and neck and her hand was left a “bloody and tangled mess”.

Leeds Crown Court heard PC Hudson was shot when she went to Leslie’s flat on Cardigan Road in the early hours of December 4 last year with colleague PC Richard Whitely.

The officers had been sent to investigate a complaint that Leslie had thrown an empty Jack Daniels bottle through the window of a neighbouring property.

Richard Wright, QC, prosecuting, said PC Hudson went to the top of the stairs which led up to the rear of Leslie’s flat and knocked on the door.

Mr Wright said the door was not opened but the officer saw a man close to the door standing facing her through the frosted glass, no more than 30cm away.

The prosecutor said: “That was when the defendant discharged the sawn-off shotgun he was armed with through the glass and into the officer.

“PC Hudson did not know what had hit her.

“Everything seemed quiet apart from a ringing inside her head. She was disoriented but she did not appreciate that she had been injured.

“PC Whitely grabbed hold of her and dragged her down the stairs and away from the door, back to the front of the building and away from the gunman. When she looked at her hand she saw it was a bloody and tangled mess.”

The jury heard PC Whitely was not injured. He called for help on his radio and did best to clear blood from his colleague’s mouth.

Mr Wright said Leslie then came out of the property with the weapon and feared he may shoot them again.

He said: “The defendant’s priority was to leave the area on his bike. But before he left he stopped and said to the officers ‘do you want some more you pussies’.”

Leslie then left on his bike, laughing.

Leslie was arrested shortly after 10am that morning after a member of the public recognised him in a Subway sandwich shop after his picture had appeared in the media.

He gave an account to police that he had found the shotgun and ammunition in a cupboard under the stairs.

He claimed he did not know the weapon was loaded and he did not mean for it to discharge.

Mr Wright told the jury: “We will invite you to say, having heard all the evidence, that you can confidently reject it as a deliberately contrived nonsense, a dishonest attempt to evade responsibility for his actions in shooting a woman in the face with a sawn of shotgun.”

Leslie pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and an alternative charge of causing grievous bodily harm with intent. He also denies possessing a shotgun with intent to endanger life.

The jury heard Leslie has pleaded guilty to possession of a prohibited firearm and criminal damage.