CCTV footage has captured the moment a brother shot an innocent student in the face at close range after a row about queue jumping in a shop. The distressing video was released by Lancashire Police after two brothers were today (December 1) jailed for almost 40 years for their roles in the ‘shocking, completely disproportionate’ attack. It shows Lee Barnett armed with a shotgun and brother Neil wielding an axe before chasing after innocent bystanders, then pulling the 19-year-old victim to the ground and beating him up before Lee opens fire. Preston Crown Court heard how Neil Barnett had got into a verbal dispute with a group of teenagers at the Morrisons store in Colne Road, Brierfield. After accusing the teenagers of pushing in front of him in a queue, the 34-year-old went onto direct a racial slur at one of them once they had all left the store. He also said: “I will kill you and your family.”
The Barnett Brothers jailed for shooting
Barnett was followed into an alleyway and a physical altercation took place, from which he came off worse. When he got back to his feet he placed a nine second call to his brother, Lee Barnett, who quickly made his way to Brierfield from Burnley. Witnesses reported seeing the brothers banging metal objects on railings close to a community centre in Brierfield town centre as they sought out the people who Neil Barnett had been in dispute with. At that point the group, who had earlier fought with Neil Barnett, ran off in different directions, as well as innocent bystanders who had nothing to do with the earlier assault or verbal altercation. One of those was the 19-year-old victim Hasan Hussain, who after getting split from his friends, was approached by axe-wielding Neil Barnett. The pair grappled to the floor in Humphrey Street before Lee Barnett shouted at his brother to: “Hold him. Hold him.”
Lee Barnett then shot Mr Hussain at close range with a shotgun, causing serious injuries to his face. The victim suffered a large wound to the side of his jaw and multiple penetrating wounds to the side of his face and ear. A CT scan revealed multiple pieces of shotgun pellet in his head, which required surgery to remove. He also suffered damage to the nerve which controls the movement of the lower lip, and a damaged tooth. Judge Andrew Jefferies QC said it was “only by way of chance” that the youngster was not more seriously injured. He added: “In some of the images the shotgun appears to have been shortened although the lighting and conditions I can not be sure. It is merciful Hasan Hussain survived.” Police launched a major investigation and the brothers, both of Kinross Street, Burnley, were arrested the following day at Burnley Recycling Centre. Lee Barnett pleaded guilty to attempted murder and Neil pleaded guilty to Section 18 wounding, causing grievous bodily harm with intent. The brothers appeared side by side on a videolink from prison as they were sentenced at Preston Crown Court. Judge Jefferies said: “This was an offence which was motivated by revenge and utilised a highly dangerous weapon.” The judge said both brothers were dangerous offenders and posed a risk to the public. Neil used racially aggravated language during the attack and while the judge said he was “quite certain” Lee was also a racist, he would have carried out the offence against anyone who wronged his brother. He sentenced Lee Barnett to 28 years in prison, noting the defendant would be “nearing his 60th birthday” before he is released.
Neil was jailed for seven years and two months with a three year extended licence period. DCI Jane Webb, of Lancashire Police’s Force Major Investigation Team, said: “The level of violence used by Lee and Neil Barnett was shocking, completely disproportionate and could have easily resulted in the death of an innocent young man. “After being involved in an earlier altercation with a group of males, Neil Barnett recruited his brother in his search for vengeance and they launched a cowardly attack on a man who was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. “The defendants chose not to answer any questions during their police interviews. Thanks to the overwhelming evidence compiled by our dedicated investigation team – very much supported by the local community who willingly provided us with the critical CCTV evidence in this case – the defendants were left with little option but to admit what they had done. “I hope these sentences send out the strong message that violence of any kind will not be tolerated in Lancashire, and that we will work with our colleagues at the Crown Prosecution Service to bring those responsible to justice.”