A judge has told two burglars permanently injured when they were shot by a homeowner: "That is the chance you take."
Judge Michael Pert QC jailed Joshua O'Gorman and Daniel Mansell for four years each after rejecting a plea that he take the shooting into account.
O'Gorman and Mansell, who have a string of convictions between them, were blasted with a legally-owned shotgun by Andy Ferrie as they attempted to ransack his isolated farm cottage in the early hours of September 2.
O'Gorman, who was shot in the face, and Mansell, who was hit in his right hand, had pleaded guilty to the break-in in Welby, near Melton Mowbray, at an earlier hearing.
Sentencing them at Leicester Crown Court, the judge said: "I make it plain that, in my judgment, being shot is not mitigation.
"If you burgle a house in the country where the householder owns a legally held shotgun, that is the chance you take.
"You cannot come to court and ask for a lighter sentence because of it."
He was responding to a mitigation plea from Andrew Frymann, representing O'Gorman, who said being shot was for his client akin to a "near-death experience" for which he was not prepared.
His injuries left him with blurred vision, severe pain and problems with his balance.
Replying to Mr Frymann's suggestion that O'Gorman was traumatised, Judge Pert said the arrest of Mr and Mrs Ferrie on suspicion of grievous bodily harm could be considered just as disturbing.
"Some might argue that being arrested and locked up for 40 hours is a trauma," he said.
Mr Ferrie, 35, and his wife Tracey, 43, were held in custody for nearly two days after Mr Ferrie called police to tell them he fired his shotgun at the intruders.
Their arrests prompted widespread criticism.
The couple were later bailed and told they would not face criminal charges.
Mansell, 33, and O'Gorman, 27, both from Leicester but with no fixed addresses, appeared in the court dock each
wearing a grey sweatshirt and showing physical evidence of the confrontation.
A scar was clearly visible on the right side of O'Gorman's face and Mansell had his arm in a sling.
Opening the case for the crown, prosecutor Alan Murphy said the Ferries, who were not in court because they are out of the country, went to bed at their isolated farm cottage as normal on the evening of September 1.
Mr Ferrie locked their home before going to bed but it was not long before they were woken by noises.
"There was clearly an intruder or intruders in their house," Mr Murphy said.
"They investigated. They went from their bedroom, downstairs, and on their way down Mrs Ferrie took hold of the couple's lawfully held shotgun and gave it to Mr Ferrie. They went downstairs and described seeing three males in the hall or kitchen area wearing some kind of face covering.
"One of the males, suspected to be Mr O'Gorman, was about to reach into a drawer in the kitchen which, they were aware but he probably was not, held a number of knives, as can be expected in a kitchen.
"As a result of that, Mr Ferrie fired his shotgun. Mr O'Gorman was hit in his face, Mr Mansell in his hand. The burglars fled without actually being able to steal anything."
The court heard that Mr Ferrie immediately called police to tell them what had happened and when they arrived he and his wife were arrested.
Police began searching for the intruders and alerted Leicester Royal Infirmary to see if anybody had presented themselves with shotgun injuries, Mr Murphy said.
At around 2am, O'Gorman arrived at the hospital with shotgun pellets in his face and was arrested by officers. Mansell arrived a few hours later, at around 7am, with pellet wounds to his right hand and was also detained by police.
The men planned the burglary because they were told nobody would be at home and there was a substantial amount of drugs and cash there, Mr Murphy said.
Both claims were entirely incorrect, he told the court.
Mansell was released from prison in May last year after serving part of a six-year sentence for wounding with intent. In total, his criminal record consisted of eight convictions involving 19 offences, Mr Murphy said.
O'Gorman has 16 convictions involving 27 offences, many for dishonesty and driving offences.
Both were on licence at the time of the offence.
Commenting after sentencing, a spokesman for Leicestershire Police said: "Police have carried out a detailed inquiry into this incident, including forensic investigation of the scene, input from ballistics experts and extensive interviews with all parties involved. It is right that all incidences of this nature are looked at thoroughly and professionally.
"The decision made by the Crown Prosecution Service, after reviewing all the evidence, was to take no further action against the homeowners involved.
"We are unable to comment any further as we have an ongoing investigation with three men currently on police bail."