Humberside

Stanley Metcalf death: Jail for great-grandfather over airgun killing

Stanley Metcalf Image copyright Humberside Police
Image caption Stanley was visiting the house when he was fatally shot by Albert Grannon with a modified weapon

A man who shot dead his six-year-old great-grandson with an unlicensed air rifle has been jailed for three years.

Stanley Metcalf died in hospital after being hit in the abdomen by a pellet at Sproatley, near Hull, on 26 July.

Albert Grannon, of Church Lane, Sproatley, had pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court.

After Grannon had pulled the trigger on the adapted weapon, the boy told the 78-year-old: "You shot me granddad."

Stanley's mother said the pensioner has never apologised.

Grannon admitted possessing an air rifle without holding a firearms certificate, along with the charge of manslaughter by gross negligence.

The youngster was shot by Grannon from a few feet away at a family gathering at the pensioner's house, prosecutor John Elvidge QC told the court.

Image caption Albert Grannon shot his great-grandson Stanley Metcalf with an air rifle

Mr Elvidge said Grannon kept the gun in a cupboard with a curtain over it and it was normally left loaded. The weapon needed a firearms certificate because its power meant it was categorised as "specially dangerous".

He said members of the family who were in the garden heard a loud bang and rushed in to find Stanley bent over in the kitchen with a wound the size of a 5p piece in his stomach.

Mr Elvidge said the pellet from the .22 rifle had gone all the way through, severing an artery.

Stanley's condition deteriorated in the ambulance and he died within two hours.

The prosecutor said Grannon told police the gun went off as he was checking whether it was loaded and the pellet must have ricocheted off the floor.

But, he said, forensic tests revealed that this could not have been the case.

At the sentencing hearing on Tuesday, mitigating barrister Paul Genney said his client accepted that he pointed the gun at Stanley as he squeezed the trigger to check the gun was not loaded, "but not, of course, deliberately".

Reading a statement to the court Stanley's mother Jenny Dees said: "Never once did he say sorry and now if he did, it would be meaningless and too little too late.

"It was through his [Grannon] recklessness, stupidity and lack of forethought that caused Stanley to be taken away.

"I hope he can live with himself and the pain he has caused".

Grannon showed no emotion as he stood to be sentenced.

Image caption The boy was shot in the abdomen with the air rifle, but died later from the injuries

Mr Justice Lavender told Grannon: "You ended a young life and you brought lifelong grief and misery to his parents and to the whole of his family."

He said: "What you did was obviously a very dangerous thing to do. Why on Earth did you do it?"

The court heard how Stanley's extended family had been split by the incident and some relatives sat in the court itself while others were in the overhanging public gallery.

Many were in tears as the sentence was passed.

As he was taken down, one woman shouted from the balcony: "Love you Dad."

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