Brothers jailed for 40 years combined after shooting would-be bike thief

Christopher and Colin Nourse have been sentenced to 30 and 14 years in prison respectively following the incident in 2020

Christopher and Colin Nourse mug shots

What would you do if you saw someone trying to steal your motorbike? For two brothers in Greenhithe, Kent, the answer was to get some guns out and open fire. That decision has just landed the pair in prison for more than 40 years combined. 

On Sunday 8 March 2020, a group of would-be thieves were trying to steal several bikes owned by 45-year-old Christopher Nourse and 42-year-old Colin Nourse near the latter’s home, including Ducati and Yamaha machines, from a communal car park on Cooper Close. The group fled when disturbed by a resident, only for two of them to return later, by which point the Nourse brothers were armed and ready to take matters into their own hands.

Christopher and Colin opened fire, and Kent Police soon had calls from residents about gunshots. Police were also alerted to a man arriving at Darent Valley Hospital with bullet wounds to his arm. Two nearby cars were also damaged by the gunfire. 

The brothers left the scene in separate cars and drove to Christopher’s home in London, returning later to find the police waiting for them. They were arrested and charged with attempted murder.

Police seized “firearms accessories” following a search of Christopher and Colin’s homes, plus a used 0.4-inch calibre bullet cartridge, a lock knife and a taser from the pair’s cars. The handgun used in the shooting was found abandoned under a car in Penge. A further nine 0.4-inch casings plus six 9mm casings were found at the scene.

The pair pleaded not guilty at Maidstone Crown Court in July 2022. Christopher was convicted of attempted murder and possession of a prohibited weapon, while Colin was found guilty of “possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life” but not guilty of attempted murder. 

On 20 December 2023, Christopher Norse was sentenced to 30 years in prison, while Colin Nourse was sent to prison for 14 years. They won’t be eligible for parole until they serve two-thirds of their jail terms.

Detective Superintendent Gavin Moss, from Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate had this to say about the jailing:

“These two men decided to arm themselves with firearms after somebody sought to steal their motorcycles. This was extremely reckless and, when one of them discharged his weapon in a residential area, it is only by chance that a member of the public unconnected with the incident did not suffer a fatal injury.

“It is apparent that Colin and Christopher Nourse are dangerous individuals who will not think twice at using violence and Greenhithe is a safer place now they are safely behind bars.”