A 78-YEAR-OLD man has been jailed for three years after he shot dead his great-grandson as he checked his unlicensed air rifle.
Albert Grannon discharged the .22 calibre weapon into football-mad Stanley Metcalf’s stomach during a family gathering at his home in Sproatley, East Yorkshire, in July last year.
Sheffield crown court heard how the youngster said ‘you shot me, grandad’ as shocked relatives responded to the sound of a loud bang in the house.
Grannon first told police the pellet must have ricocheted as he checked the weapon, but expert analysis showed the shot went directly into the six-year-old’s abdomen.
John Elvidge QC, prosecuting, told the court how the tragedy happened at a family gathering at the defendant’s home which was held every year to mark the death of one of his sons 16 years ago.
Mr Elvidge said that Stanley asked to see the air rifle and went inside with his great-grandfather.
Family members outside the house then heard a loud bang, the prosecutor said.
The prosecutor said the defendant had a habit of keeping the adapted air rifle loaded in a cupboard to shoot vermin.
The weapon needed a firearms certificate but he did not apply because he thought he would not get one due to disabilities.
Stanley’s mother, Jenny Dees, said of the defendant, who is her grandfather: ‘Not once did he say sorry.
‘Now, if he did, it would be meaningless, too little, too late.’
The judge, 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?’
Grannon showed no emotion as he stood to be sentenced.
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 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.’