Two men jailed following Middleton shooting investigation

Two men have been jailed for firearms offences following an investigation into the shooting of a man in Leeds.

Detectives from West Yorkshire Police Homicide and Major Enquiry Team launched Operation Pearsea in response to the shooting of a 31-year-old man in Middleton in January this year.

The victim received gunshot injuries to his leg after a shotgun was fired at him in Thorpe Road.

As part of the investigation, officers carried out arrest enquiries at an address in Vicarage Avenue, Gildersome.

During a search of the address a loaded handgun was discovered hidden in the garden.

The loaded gun found in the garden

Ryan Semeniuk was subsequently arrested and charged with possession of a firearm, which was a converted blank-firing pistol, and possession of ammunition.

Forensic analysis of the weapon identified Semeniuk’s DNA and also linked Otis Mitchell, who was also charged with possession of the firearm and ammunition.

Despite extensive enquiries, no-one has been charged over the shooting in January.

Semeniuk admitted the offences when he appeared at Leeds Crown Court but Mitchell pleaded not guilty and was convicted of both offences at trial. Both men were sentenced on Wednesday.

Mitchell, aged 22, of Vicarage Avenue, Gildersome, was given a six-year prison term for the firearm offence with a concurrent three-year sentence for the ammunition.

Semeniuk, aged 28, of Trentham Grove, Beeston, was sentenced to five years and five months for the firearm offence with a concurrent three-year sentence for the ammunition.

Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Chief Inspector Vanessa Rolfe said:

“Illegally-held firearms, like the gun recovered in this investigation, have only one deadly purpose in the hands of criminals, and we remain firmly committed to taking these weapons and those who use them off our streets.

“Gun crime not only causes serious harm to those who are targeted but it also brings understandable fear and concern to the communities where such incidents occur.

“We hope people can take some reassurance from these latest successful convictions, which should also serve as a stark warning to others of the serious penalties that await those who involve themselves in this type of offending.

“Incidents involving firearms can never be tolerated and will always attract the highest level of investigation to identify and bring those responsible to justice.”


This post is based on a press release issued by West Yorkshire Police

Main photo: Ryan Semeniuk and Otis Mitchell have been convicted for firearms offences


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