Stoke & Staffordshire

Ex-Staffordshire policeman Jon King was shot by Matthew Tearle, jury decides

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Media captionStaffordshire ex-policeman Jon King talks about being blinded in a shooting

An ex-police sergeant was shot and blinded in one eye by a man with mental health issues, a jury has concluded.

Matthew Tearle, who has schizophrenia and Asperger's syndrome, fired a rubber ball from a paintball gun through his front door, hitting Jon King's eye.

Mr King, social workers and paramedics spent five hours talking to Tearle at his Staffordshire home in October 2014.

He will remain in hospital following the conclusion of a special finding of fact hearing at Stafford Crown Court.

The jury also decided on Wednesday he was in possession of a prohibited firearm.

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The court heard 35-year-old Tearle's brother, Kieran Majevadia, had called for help when Tearle would not let him into his flat in Wat Tyler Close, Rugeley.

Image caption Matthew Tearle suffered from mental health problems for 20 years, the jury was told

The authorities - plus Tearle's brother and mother - tried to persuade him to come out, but it was decided the door had to be broken down.

As a hole was smashed in the door, Tearle fired through it, hitting Mr King's right eye and drawing blood. A second shot narrowly missed his left eye and a further rubber projectile skimmed another officer's hair, the jury heard.

During the hearing, Mr King, who retired from Staffordshire Police after losing his eye, described the moment he was shot.

He said he felt a "hammer blow" and thought a door handle had "sprung up" and hit him in his face.

He fell to the floor and then felt blood pouring into his hand.

In court on Wednesday, Judge Mark Eades commended Mr King, his colleagues and Tearle's mother and brother for their actions and awarded each of them a £250 High Sheriff of Staffordshire Award for their bravery.

Image caption Sgt King lost his right eye following the shooting

Tearle was given a hospital order with restrictions that he not be released unless agreed by the secretary for state for justice.

Staffordshire Police Assistant Chief Constable Nick Adderley has called it "a tragic case", saying Mr King is "pleased" with the hearing's outcome because "he now knows that Matthew is going to get the treatment that he actually needs".

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