Teenager’s leg was amputated after violent ‘revenge’ shooting attack

A teenager’s leg was amputated after a violent ‘revenge’ shooting attack, a new report has revealed.

The youth, often referred to as ‘Daniel’, suffered the “life-altering injuries” in March 2020. Now a major report has uncovered how the youth’s, aged 17, troubled upbringing lead to him becoming connected to a criminal underworld when he was still just a schoolboy.

The Child Safeguarding Practice Review found that efforts to help the Teesside teen before the shooting were largely in vain, Teesside Live reports.

Exact details of the attack are not revealed in the report although Teesside Live reported on a shooting in Hemlington at the time in which a young boy suffered leg injuries.

Cleveland Police were called to the area after a firearm was discharged into the front door of a property on March 11, 2020.

A 17-year-old boy was taken to hospital with leg injuries believed to have been caused by a firearm.

He was found on Bridport Grove, Hemlington, following the shooting at around 10.45pm.

A 17-year-old male and a 22-year-old man were arrested although it appears no-one was ever ultimately convicted.

The home was taped off after the shooting

The review by South Tees Safeguarding Childrens Partnership says that “interventions by key agencies were not able to keep Daniel safe”.

It adds: “Professionals struggled to engage Daniel and he persistently rejected services aimed at reducing the risks to which he was very clearly exposed.”

Daniel’s upbringing was far from perfect. His parents of him were only aged about 16 when he was born, with the report stating that “they did not provide him with a secure and nurturing base as he grew up.”

“He was, the review team was told, never allowed to express himself verbally or emotionally.” It adds that he was “frequently given messages” by his mum that he was a “bad person who would never achieve anything.”

It wasn’t until ‘Daniel’ turned 11 when changes emerged. Up to then, he was perceived as a quiet child. However in Year Six, “difficult behaviours” emerged at school and at home.

These became more apparent once he entered secondary school. By the age of 12, he was facing expulsion while he also drew the attention of the police. He’d first caught their attention when, aged 11, he was reported missing. Shortly after, I started being linked to “low level” crimes.

By 13, police records show evidence of “ongoing drug use” while his crimes had escalated into violence. By 2016, he was handed a police caution.

A year earlier, he’d been excluded from school before being transferred to a pupil referral unit. Even then, he didn’t always attend, “as some young people from ‘rival gangs’ were also there”.

Even at the age of just 15, police intelligence linked him with “known crime groups”, while they suspected he was using intimidating witnesses to halt prosecutions. And by the start of 2016, his mum de ella asked the council to remove him from her care de ella. She said he was taking drugs, going missing and was “beyond parenting control.”

Police remained at the scene following the shooting
Police remained at the scene following the shooting

Problems escalated shortly before Daniel’s 14th birthday. He entered care, amid claims his mother assaulted him. She’d claimed she was restraining the teenager who was now “beyond her control of her.”

No other family would take him in, amid concerns about his drug taking and gang affiliations. Placed into foster care, he went missing soon after.

He was then moved over 100 miles away, into a children’s home. Yet eventually, Improvements were noted to the point he enjoyed overnight stays with his mum.

Yet his mum was unwilling to “suddenly” let him return to live with her, prompting her mum to step in to care for him – sparking a “deep rift” between mother and daughter.

Things then calmed down for a period, until Daniel broke up with his girlfriend – and fell back in with “old contacts”. He became more aggressive towards his greatness, and continued going missing.

“Professionals also observed Daniel with various injuries at times and following arrests for various offences, he was found, on occasions, to be in possession of knives and had access to unexplained funds,” adds the report.

“Police records indicate that Daniel was tagged as being involved with local criminals groups.”

The police paint a picture of a young man deep into the world of crime. He was involved in “a number of police investigations” including alleged stabbings, drug possession and was frequently listed as either being wanted or a person of interest.

In 2019, his dad’s mum died of a drug overdose. According to the police, he was suspected of stabbing the dealer. A year before the shooting, he admitted several offenses in court and was handed a 12 month referral order to try and curb his behaviour.

However that year his relationship with his nana broke down. She became concerned for her own safety of her aggressiveness and as his behavior of her became more “volatile”, she claimed she could n’t keep him safe.

With no other residential placements available, aged just 17, he was placed in semi-independent accommodation.

Police on Cass House Road
Police on Cass House Road

Just months before his life would be forever changed in violent circumstances, authorities attempted to turn Daniel’s life around. Their efforts would be fruitless.

“He declined referrals to access support for his substance misuse, and resisted attempts by professionals to address the risks he posed to others and the risks to which he himself was continually exposed,” notes the report.

“Agency records refer to Daniel insisting that he was ‘in charge’ and that he ‘knew’ what he was doing. Daniel, then experienced a further seven placement moves before March 2020, all of which were in response to the need to manage risks from known, and, unnamed, individuals.”

Before the shooting, police suspected his involvement in assaults involving firearms and weapons.

Daniel branded the attack a “warning.” Yet the injuries were life-changing.

His left leg was amputated below the knee. The efforts to protect him in the aftermath were vast.

Orders were obtained through the High Court to “restrict his liberties” and keep him safe. He was banned from social media and even having a phone, amid fears gang members were trying to find him,.

After he was discharged from hospital, he was moved to a secret safe location, while he initially tried to start a new chapter.

“After Daniel was injured, he informed family members and his social workers that all he wanted was a ‘quiet life’, to repair his relationships with family members and live safely in accommodation near them,” notes the report.

Yet the report adds: “Once Daniel knew that rehabilitation services would be deferred due to covid-19 and he did not have a date for this support to commence, he ‘shut down’ again and a ‘reachable moment’ was lost.

“His relationships with family members quickly deteriorated with only (his maternal grandmother) maintaining contact.”

Despite Daniel having limited access to phones and the internet, he was able to re-establish contact with some associates. Information then came to light which suggested he was planning a revenge attack against his perpetrators.

“Daniel left the accommodation of his own accord and was picked up in a vehicle and driven away,” notes the report.

Daniel was transferred to Adult services in July 2020. The review was then held, bringing together the agencies that have had dealings with him, to “learn lessons that improve the way, in which they work, both individually and collectively, to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.”

The report does acknowledge imperfections in how he was handled. For example, three days before Daniel was shot, he was involved in a firearms shooting. Yet the information was not shared with Children’s Services.

A ‘Threat to Life’ notice was given to Daniel in the hospital, yet this wasn’t shared with social workers. The report notes that it would be expected to be shared.

But the report finds efforts were frequently made to engage with him during his troubled years, yet staff were often met either with hostility or an unwillingness to engage. It also notes he was “particularly hostile and verbally aggressive to his social worker.”

As his criminality spiraled, to the point it became apparent he was using firearms, Redcar and Cleveland Council applied to a court for a Secure Accommodation Order.

Yet the threshold wasn’t met, and the order wasn’t granted as a secure placement was not available anywhere in the UK at the time.

And stretched, underfunded services yet again proved to be a factor, with the report noting: “It must also be acknowledged that without increased resources at regional and national levels, children like Daniel will inevitably fall through gaps in provision.”

The report highlighted eight learning points for the agencies, although perhaps none as significant as the fifth.

“Unless the lack of secure accommodation is addressed nationally, children like Daniel with complex needs and behaviors will continue to fall through the gaps that exist between secure accommodation, regulated accommodation and detention under the mental health legislation,” it states.

And one of the six recommendations, linked to that point, states: “South Tees Safeguarding Partnership (STSCP) should urge the Department of Education to urgently set out a strategy for how it intends to improve residential care for looked after children in England. “

As for Daniel, the report notes that being “devastated” by amputation he continued the pattern of not engaging.

“(He) refused to cooperate with children’s services or police and offered no information about the shooting or the individuals involved,” it notes.

The report notes Daniel’s parents were both asked to take part in the review. Neither replied.

A spokesperson for Redcar and Cleveland Council added: While the council is unable to discuss individual cases in detail, it is always important that we work with our partner agencies to learn any possible lessons from Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews.

“The council is fully committed to supporting our young people, and as was mentioned in the review which was completed in May 2021, we are involved in a program which is designed to support young people from complex backgrounds in innovative ways to reduce high risk behaviours. .”

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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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