A DISABLED man shot by armed officers after inciting terror in a quiet Knaphill street has today been jailed for four years.

Richard Pell, 41, will serve a minimum of two years in prison after threatening to harm himself and others in a night of drug and alcohol fuelled terror on July 25.

Judge Christopher Critchlow extended some leniency to Pell, who entered the court using a zimmer frame after being shot in the upper part of his leg.

Pell had pleaded guilty to charges of possessing an imitation fire arm with intent to cause fear of violence, and the communication of false information when he first appeared at Guildford Crown Court on October 11.

SHOT - Richard Pell was gunned down by armed police

SHOT – Richard Pell was gunned down by armed police

Walter Mitty character Pell, believed to be a discharged military hero, tricked emergency response teams and residents into thinking his black replica ball-bearing gun was actually a live firearm, and convinced them he had planted a bomb at his home in Oak Tree Road.

Terrified families were forced to flee their homes as a stand-off eventually ended in Pell being rushed to hospital.

Ruby Selva, prosecuting, told the court that a number of factors contributed to Pell’s actions leading up to the shooting.

Ms Selva said Pell felt shame and guilt after forgetting the anniversary of his late wife Sharon’s death.

The court heard Sharon, who was seven months pregnant, was killed in a racially-motivated attack by a homeless man in London in July 2001.

Judge Critchlow was also informed that Pell had NEVER served in the armed forces as previously believed – news which even came as a shock to his defence solicitor David Castle.

Pell deceived locals and regular drinkers at The Anchor pub in Knaphill for years, claiming his limp and speech problems were as a result of being blown up in Afghanistan while on tour with the British Army.

But the prosecution made clear that Pell’s injuries were in fact acquired in a road traffic collision.

Even without a psychiatric report, requested by Judge Critchlow at the hearing in October but delayed because of a typing backlog at Sutton’s HMP High Down where Pell has been remanded in custody for 75 days, Mr Castle invited a prison sentence at his client’s request.

The court was told that Pell had been trying to get himself killed in an American phenomenon known as ‘suicide by cop’ – a move often employed stateside by individuals who cannot commit the act themselves.

Pell, who was living with Sharon’s sister Jacqueline in Oak Tree Road at the time of the shooting, allegedly “just went off on one” after being confronted over a missing pack of biscuits.

High on cocaine, Pell locked himself in his room at around 9.25pm before texting worried Jacqueline: “I have made a bomb – call the pigs and it’s a big bang.”

After telling him she would show the message to the police, Jacqueline received a second alert that said: “Cool, I can take some of them with us.”

At 9.55pm, Pell put an emergency call out himself and told the 999 operator: “I’ve got a bomb in my house and a gun and I’ll kill anyone who comes in.”

Police traced the call to Pell’s address before receiving a second call which said the supposed gunman was prepared to speak with a negotiator.

Officers attended the grade-four incident – four being the highest grade that can possibly be given to an emergency call – believing Pell, supposedly of a military background, was in fact in possession of a working handgun and live explosive.

It was noted that Pell took a definite shooting stance as he left the property before pointing the gun at police.

Believing he was capable of taking an accurate shot, and was carrying serious intentions to hurt and kill others, Pell was shot with a single round and treated by officers until an ambulance arrived.

Upon questioning, Pell revealed his frustration at not being killed by the attending officers and moaned: “Why couldn’t the cop shoot me in the head?”

He admitted that his intention was to provoke police into shooting him as he felt he was more of a danger to himself than others.

Judge Critchlow sentenced Pell to 40 months in prison for possessing an imitation fire arm with intent to cause fear of violence, and eight consecutive months for the communication of false information with regard to the bomb hoax.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission continues to investigate the shooting.





SHOOTING - investigations are on going

SHOOTING – investigations are on going

A MAN shot by armed police in Knaphill has been identified as ex-soldier Richard Pell.

Pell, better known as ‘Ricky’ around the village, was shot in the shoulder by armed officers after threatening to cause harm to himself and others outside his home in Oak Tree Road on Wednesday night.

He remains in a stable condition at St George’s Hospital in Tooting.

Neighbours had to be evacuated over fears the former squaddie had planted an explosive device in the property.

The investigation has been referred the Independent Police Complaints Commission who last night revealed Mr Pell was carrying a ball-bearing gun when he was shot.

Mr Pell, who is in his 40s, was drinking at the Anchor Pub in the High Street prior to the incident.

Pub manager Angela Pearson, 25, says she could not imagine frail Mr Pell, who walks with a cane, could pose such a threat.

She said: “We couldn’t believe what was going on, Knaphill is normally very quiet and you don’t expect these sorts of things to happen, especially from someone like Ricky.

“He can barely stand without his walking stick so you wonder how he could be capable of something like that.

“The police wouldn’t have shot him for no reason so he must have provoked them into taking action – it’s so strange to see a person all the time and then hear about them doing something crazy.

“I saw him in the pub that day and he seemed his normal talkative self, you wouldn’t have thought anything like that was about to happen – he must have flipped.”

Angela’s grandfather Keith said more needed to be done to help ex-servicemen and women and that Pell was clearly not in a ‘stable state of mind’.

He added: “I’m not saying the shooting was unjust but he shouldn’t have been in that position to start with, having spoken to him in the pub it is clear that he needed help.”

On Friday evening July 27) police confirmed a man in his 40s has been arrested on suspicion of possession of an imitation firearm and use of a firearm to make threats.

A man in his 30s who was arrested at the scene on suspicion of communicating false information about a hoax bomb was  released with no further action.

But he was subsequently rearrested by the UK Border Agency on suspicion of immigration offences and remains in police custody while the matter is investigated.



CORDON - Oak Tree Road is sealed off by police

CORDON – Oak Tree Road is sealed off by police

A MAN shot by police in Knaphill last night was carrying a black BB gun, the Independent Police Complaints Commission have revealed.

Armed Response Units rushed to Oak Tree Road just after 10pm yesterday (Wednesday, July 25) after an individual was reported to be carrying an armed weapon with the intent of harming himself and others.

A man in his 40s was shot at the scene and was taken to St George’s hospital in Tooting. Police have yet to reveal the extent of his injuries.

Officers confirmed a firearm had been discovered and the IPCC later confirmed the weapon was a ball bearing air gun.

Paramedics were working on a man on the ground and eventually an ambulance turned up – it was a bit of a shock

IPCC commissioner Mike Franklin said: “This matter was referred to the IPCC in the early hours of this morning (Thursday 26 July) and we immediately sent investigators to the scene.

“At this stage we can confirm that one round was fired by one officer resulting in the man’s injuries and hospitalisation.

“A  weapon was found at the scene and has been identified by a ballistics expert as a 6mm BB gun which had been painted black. Further forensic work is being carried out on that weapon and IPCC investigators have supervised house to house inquiries in the local area.

“Our inquiry, which is in the very early stages, will be a thorough investigation scrutinising all of the circumstances surrounding the police actions and decisions leading from initial 999 calls made earlier in the evening up to the shooting.

“An IPCC family liaison manager has made contact with the man to explain our role.”

One resident, who did not want to be named for security reasons, said people entering the property in question were often drunk or in search of drugs.

The mother of two described the incident as a shock but admitted police were always being called to deal with trouble right outside her door.

Reliving the ordeal, she said: “My son woke up me at around 11pm saying that armed police were running around everywhere and that he thought someone had been shot.

“By then the shot had gone off so I came down in my dressing gown to have a look and there were police absolutely everywhere.

“Paramedics were working on a man on the ground and eventually an ambulance turned up – it was a bit of a shock.”

Fears the man had planted an explosive device at the property led to some residents being evacuated to a nearby church, but a bomb disposal team found nothing.

“At about midnight we were evacuated to Holy Trinity Church hall and got back home just gone 2am.

SHOOTING - police cars line the road

SHOOTING – police cars line the road

“I woke up this morning at around 5.30am and this whole area was cordoned off – they’ve obviously been very busy over night.

“I’ve lived here 17 years and that house has always been trouble.

“The area has changed vastly since we’ve moved in.

“It’s not the quiet neighbourhood it used to be and police are always outside.”

Another witness told the News & Mail: “I was there at about 12.10am when the bomb disposal unit arrived. There were still armed police around.

“My friend was there and had just finished his shift at Sainsbury’s – there were about 10 police cars in the shop’s car park and more outside.

“He drove down to see what was happening and he heard gun shots at about 11.15pm. The armed police were full-on with machine guns.

“The police evacuated the area sending people to the nearby church.

“They told my friend to get down in the car.

“The man told them he had a bomb in his house and that’s when the police shot him.”

Another man in his 30s was arrested at the scene and remains in police custody.

The shooting  has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission who have sent investigators to the scene.

A spokesman said: “A decision on the level of IPCC involvement will be made once the assessment is completed.”

Video footage below courtesy of BRONXYTV.