A pair of friends have been jailed for attacking a passer-by with a knife and a BB gun in an argument over drugs.

James O’Reilly and Tobie Brophy spotted victim Geoffrey Gregory in the street in Bideford and pursued him back into the house where he was staying, before stabbing and shooting him.

O’Reilly had a grudge against Mr Gregory because of an argument about drugs and Brophy joined in the fight, Exeter Crown Court was told.

O’Reilly fired at least one shot from the potentially lethal BB gun at close range, while Brophy inflicted seven slash wounds with the knife.

The attack happened in the hallway of a house in Glendale Terrace, Bideford, which was known to be the haunt of drug users and where the tenant was later jailed for dealing.

O’Reilly, aged 24, from Liverpool, and Brophy, aged 27, originally from Chagford but now of Tors Road, Lynmouth, both admitted wounding.

They were jailed for 20 and 27 months respectively by Judge Graham Cottle.

He told them the case was more serious because it was drug related violence involving the use of weapons by both men. He said: “This was all a squabble over drugs.”

Richard Crabb, prosecuting, said the attack happened on August 5 last year and took place inside the hallway of a house where Mr Gregory took refuge after being confronted in the street.

He said the BB gun was high powered and had been rated as potentially lethal by a police firearms expert. It was fired into Mr Gregory’s chest. He also had knife wounds to the arm, shoulder and chest.

Brophy’s DNA was later found on the knife and mobile phone records showed that both men had gone to Plymouth after the attack before moving on to Exeter, where they were arrested the next day.

Emily Pitts, for O’Reilly, said he had not intended to cause serious injury but had the gun with him to scare pigeons. His intention was to scare the victim.

Nicolas Gerasimidis, for Brophy, said the argument had between the other two men and he had not gone into the house with the intention of getting involved.