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Nightclub shooting caught on CCTV

A chilling CCTV image of the moment a gunman shot a man at point-blank range outside a Leeds nightclub has been released by police.

Damien Ralph, 25, only survived because the bullet missed his carotid artery by millimetres, Leeds Crown Court heard.

Leighton Bennett, 23, of Coventry, was jailed for 11 years on Wednesday after admitting attempted murder outside the Rhythms club in Chapeltown in January.

Only swift action by hospital staff had saved his victim's life, police said.

The court had heard that Bennett had been enjoying a night out at the club in the early hours of 16 January, after driving up from Coventry where he lived.

An argument later broke out between Bennett's companions and a group of Mr Ralph's friends, which was caught on CCTV.

The court heard that Bennett was not armed at the time but had been passed the weapon shortly before the shooting, as the fight escalated outside the club.

The gun was never found but experts believe the firearm had been improvised from a blank cartridge revolver or air weapon.

Detectives said they hit a wall of silence from witnesses who were too scared to speak out - fearing reprisals.

But a breakthrough came when a West Yorkshire Police team travelled to Coventry and an officer recognised the gunman.

Det Supt Paul Taylor, who led the investigation, said: "In cold blood he shot a man down in the street and walked away in the knowledge that any witnesses would be too frightened to come forward.

"Despite this we were able to bring this man to justice through a thorough and professional investigation.

"This was a clear and determined attempt on a man's life. It was only through the quick work of the hospital staff that he was able to be saved from an untimely death." Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/england/west_yorkshire/4078020.stm

Published: 2005/06/09 15:39:58 GMT

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