A MAN from North Dorset who fired an illegal shotgun out of a bedroom window when police officers were outside has been convicted of possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life.

Daniel Hannam, 33, was found not guilty of two counts of attempting to murder a police officer following a three-week trial at Bristol Crown Court.

He admitted shooting the weapon from his former girlfriend's home in the market town of Castle Cary in Somerset, in the early hours of January 23.

Two armed officers, known only as IX and IC, were at the front door of the end-of-terrace property at the time and returned fire.

Body-cam footage shows the officers shouting "armed police" before Hannam fires the shotgun, with pellets landing on an armed response vehicle parked outside the house.

Hannam later phoned 999 and told the operator: "I've just had a shoot-out with your police officers yeah, they've surrounded the house right now.

"There are two children and a woman inside this house, how do you want this to go down right now? That's what I want to know."

During the trial, Hannam admitting firing the shotgun but insisted he was aiming into the air at the time and had not intended to kill the officers.

The jury unanimously acquitted him of attempting to murder IX and IC.

Mr Justice Soole said he would sentence Hannam, from Gillingham, today or tomorrow.

The defendant previously admitted charges including attempted kidnap, making use of a firearm with intent to resist arrest, possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, and attempted burglary.

Hannam, who was previously handed an imprisonment for public protection sentence (IPP), was on the run from a probation hostel in Bristol after breaching the terms of his licence.

He had been released from prison in August last year, having served a seven-year sentence, and left the hostel in October.

The convicted criminal bought an illegal shotgun and cartridges, which he took to the streets of Castle Cary at about 11pm on January 22.

He fired it into the air before attempting to buy cocaine, shooting twice at the door of McColls newsagents at 1.38am when he was unable to reach his drug dealer.

Minutes later, he attempted to kidnap BMW driver Oliver Walter-Taylor, who he did not know, by getting into his car, pointing the shotgun at him and telling him to drive him away.

Hannam fired the shotgun twice as Mr Walter-Taylor was running away at 1.59am.

Armed officers had surrounded the home of Hannam's former girlfriend on Park Street in Castle Cary by 2.45am.

They later helped the woman and her two young children, who police had been unaware were in the property, to safety.

Hannam fired further shots out of a back window before throwing the shotgun through it and handing himself in at 4.48am.

Nikki Watson, the assistant chief constable of Avon and Somerset Police, paid tribute to the "professionalism and bravery" of the officers involved.

"I was shocked when I viewed the officers' body worn video footage and saw photos of the damage caused to a police vehicle," she said

"They are a testament to the danger these officers were facing in the line of duty and I'm relieved no-one was injured."

Detective Chief Inspector James Riccio said the trial had been "extremely difficult" for IX and IC, as well as their families.

"Hannam is a very dangerous individual and it's clear his criminal behaviour was escalating to an alarming degree," he said.

"I'm pleased he's now been convicted of these very serious offences and can no longer pose a risk to public safety."