Innocent student blasted in face at point blank range after row over supermarket queue

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Lee Barnett unloaded his shotgun into the face of Hasan Hussain after his brother Neil beat him up with an axe while he lay on the floor, Preston Crown Court heard

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Chilling final moments of student killed in revenge attack

CCTV footage shows the moment a man shot an innocent student in the face from point blank range.

Lee Barnett stood over his victim with a shotgun while his brother Neil wielded an axe nearby.

Neil had beat the 19-year-old up as he lay on the ground before Lee unloaded the barrel into his face, Lancashire Live reported.

The victim, Hasan Hussain, suffered a large wound to the side of his jaw and multiple penetrating wounds to the side of his face and ear.

The horrific incident unfolded after Neil got into a verbal spat with a group of teenagers at a Morrisons store in Brierfield, Preston Crown Court heard.

Neil Barnett beat the 19-year-old up
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After accusing the teenagers of pushing in front of him in a queue, the 34-year-old aimed a racial slut at one of the group before leaving the store.

He also said: “I will kill you and your family.”

The teenagers followed after Neil as he made his way into an alleyway and beat him up.

When he got back to his feet he placed a nine second call to his brother, Lee, 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 hunted down the young people.

Lee Barnett shot the man on the floor
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At that point the group ran off in different directions along with innocent bystanders who had nothing to do with the earlier assault or verbal altercation.

One of those was the 19-year-old victim Mr Hussain, who after getting split from his friends was approached by axe-wielding Neil.

The pair grappled to the floor before Lee shouted at his brother to: “Hold him. Hold him.”

Lee then shot Mr Hussain at close range with a shotgun, causing serious injuries to his face.

A CT scan revealed multiple pieces of shotgun pellet in his head, which required surgery to remove.

CCTV captured the shocking assault
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Cavendish Press (Manchester) Ltd)

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.

The 19-year-old suffered serious facial wounds
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Cavendish Press (Manchester) Ltd)

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.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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