Man who opened fire in police chase facing jail

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The Independent Online

A gunman who opened fire after being chased by two police officers down a path lined with busy restaurants was today facing jail.

The Old Bailey heard how Pc Colin Hutton and Pc Vincent Turner dived for safety as Callum Hall produced a pistol following the pursuit near Southwark Tube station.

Hall, 21, of no fixed address, was found guilty of possessing a 9mm pistol with intent to endanger life during the incident last August.

But he was cleared of two counts of attempted murder after claiming he did not mean to hit the officers.

CCTV footage played to the jury showed the policemen running after Hall, who was a suspect in a burglary, past busy restaurant terraces packed with diners, just before he opened fire.

As shots rang out, customers at the outdoor tables could be seen in the footage dashing inside while others looked around in confusion.

Pc Hutton feared that Pc Turner had been hit and then dived to the ground himself at the sound of a bang, the court heard.

The two officers had approached Hall on August 5 to speak to him about an incident in which he was alleged to have threatened a mother at gunpoint and demanded money, in front of her children aged five and 10.

Philip Bennetts, prosecuting, said there was no dispute that the defendant had a firearm and used it but jurors had to decide what his intention was.

He said that there were "many, many people" around in the direction in which the gun was fired and it was fortunate no-one was injured.