Man, 78, jailed for killing six-year-old great-grandson with air rifle

Stanley Metcalf was shot by great-grandad Albert Grannon as he checked his unlicensed air rifle (Picture: PA)

A 78-year-old man has been jailed for three years after killing his six-year-old great-grandson with an air rifle.

Albert Grannon was handed the sentence at Sheffield Crown Court after previously pleading guilty to the manslaughter of Stanley Metcalf.

Albert Grannon discharged the unlicensed .22 calibre weapon into football-mad Stanley Metcalf's stomach as he checked it during a family gathering.

The court heard how the youngster said "you shot me granddad" as shocked relatives responded to the sound of a loud bang in the house in Sproatley, East Yorkshire, in July last year.

The court heard Stanley had asked to see his great-grandfather's air rifle (Picture: PA)

Prosecutor John Elvidge QC told the court that Stanley was shot from a few feet away at a family gathering at the pensioner's house.

He said Grannon had a habit of keeping the adapted air rifle loaded in a cupboard to shoot vermin and Stanley had asked to see it.

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Grannon originally told police he was checking the gun was empty by pulling the trigger while pointing it downwards and Stanley was hit by a ricochet, the court heard, but Mr Elvidge said experts had shown the rifle was discharged directly in the boy's abdomen.

The judge told the pensioner: "What you did was obviously a very dangerous thing to do. Why on Earth did you do it?"

Stanley's mother, Jenny Dees said that immediately after the incident she felt sorry for her grandfather but she told the judge: "I don't feel sorry for him now."

“Not once did he say sorry,” she said. “Now if he did, it would be meaningless - too little, too late.”

Paul Genney, defending, told the court that, despite the views of Stanley's parents, Grannon, "blames himself totally".

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.