A MAN almost died when he was shot at point-blank range after three masked intruders smashed their way into his home with guns and an axe, a jury at Bradford Crown Court heard yesterday.

Kevin Ruding suffered large open wounds to his chest and his left leg when he was attacked while he was sleeping in bed at Greenholme Court, Holme Wood, Bradford, in the early hours of January 30.


William Lowther, 47, of Copgrove Road, Holme Wood, is on trial denying attempting to murder Mr Ruding and possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.

Prosecutor Simon Myerson QC told the jury that Mr Ruding was shot by three masked assailants who smashed their way through the back door using a gas canister shortly after 2am.

The gunshot to his chest was almost fatal and the wound to his left calf meant his leg had to be amputated.

Mr Myerson said that Mr Ruding was at home with his wife Emily and their young son when the men broke in.

Mrs Ruding heard someone smashing their way into the house and a shout of: “It’s the police. Stay where you are.”

She saw three men in balaclavas and dark clothing on the stairs. One had an axe and two of them were carrying long-barrelled firearms.

One of the men pointed his gun at Mrs Ruding and she escaped into her son’s bedroom as the man with the axe swung it towards her, Mr Myerson told the jury.

After her husband was shot, Mrs Ruding rang the emergency services and the19 minute call was played in court.

The operator tells her to keep her husband talking and to apply pressure to his wounds until the ambulance arrives.

Mrs Ruding says that Kevin had been in jail for selling drugs and the men had shot his tag off.

She tells the operator that blood is pumping out of him and she is told to keep him awake.

Mr Myerson said that Mr Ruding was treated by paramedics at the scene and had emergency surgery at Leeds General Infirmary.

“Fortunately, he lived,” he said.

The jurors were shown photographs of the bedroom with blood on the quilt and the sheet. They also saw a body map detailing the injuries that Mr Ruding sustained.

Mr Myerson said that the attackers planned their escape very carefully.

They used two stolen vehicles with false number plates and jemmied a gate to allow them to drive across country to avoid being seen on CCTV cameras.

But the court heard that the stolen Freelander was faulty and it stopped on the track through Tyersal Woods.

The men set it on fire and continued their journey on foot through Pudsey to a car park where a Nissan Navara had been left to use as a second getaway vehicle.

Mr Myerson told the jury that much of the evidence they would see and hear was from CCTV footage and expert witnesses.

Lowther told the police he was innocent of the crime.

“I will not be forensically linked to the damaged gate or the damaged property,” he said.

Mr Myerson told the jury that Lowther’s DNA was on the gas canister that was swung at the back door to break into the house.

The trial continues.