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Thousands of pounds to help reclaim park where teenager was shot

PUBLISHED: 12:14 10 April 2020 | UPDATED: 12:14 10 April 2020

The Wensum Residents Association (pictured last year). They have been working to get West End Gardens improved. Photo: Neil Didsbury

The Wensum Residents Association (pictured last year). They have been working to get West End Gardens improved. Photo: Neil Didsbury

Archant

A park, in which a teenager was shot by gang members, is to be revitalised using thousands of pounds.

Police searching the park after the shooting.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYPolice searching the park after the shooting. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

More than £40,000 will be spent to breathe new life into West End Gardens in Norwich, through improvements to encourage more people to use it and make it safer.

In June 2018, a 19-year-old - suspected to have been involved in the county line drugs trade - was shot there during an attempted robbery.

Kallum Eastall, 19, and Jake Brittain, 27, were part of the masked gang which ambushed the victim, after luring him to the park off Adelaide Street.

A court heard how the London teenager was attacked by four men, three of whom were masked, Two were armed with knives and one had a shotgun.

The victim is seen staggering from the park after being shot in the back. Picture: Norfolk PoliceThe victim is seen staggering from the park after being shot in the back. Picture: Norfolk Police

After he was shot in the buttocks, the teenager was found by passers-by and taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, where he spent nine days and had part of his bowel removed in emergency surgery.

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Eastall and Brittain were jailed after admitting attempted robbery, having a firearm with intent to commit robbery, and possession of two 15-inch knives.

But the community has been determined to reclaim West End Gardens, with the Wensum Residents Association working with Norwich City Council to bring about improvements.

Kallum Eastall, left and Jake Brittain, right, were jailed over the shooting in West End Gardens. Picture: Norfolk PoliceKallum Eastall, left and Jake Brittain, right, were jailed over the shooting in West End Gardens. Picture: Norfolk Police

They have secured £25,000 to spend on the park, with the city council putting in another £22,000 to make improvements.

Work, due to start at the end of the year, would see parts of the footpath restored to make it easier for people to get through the park, better lighting, clearing of some trees to let more light in, worn out benches replaced and a herb and sensory garden created.

Matthew Packer, cabinet member for safe and sustainable city environment at the city council, said work was being done to help people take control of their neighbourhood.

He said: “The work being undertaken with Wensum Residents Association is another great example of this activity, where joint working with the residents will result in considerable benefits to the neighbourhood as well as West End Park.

“This is a really exciting project and builds upon the good work to support residents to enable them to get involved and change their local green space into a ‘place’ rather than just a space.”


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