Sheffield man admits killing pal with air rifle

Chris Humphreys, 24, from Sheffield
Chris Humphreys, 24, from Sheffield
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A Sheffield man is facing a jail term after he admitted firing an air weapon and killing his friend in a prank which went tragically wrong.

Russell Fairchild, aged 47, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of 24-year-old Christopher Humphreys at Sheffield Crown Court today.

The emergency services were called to an address on Handsworth Grange Road, Handsworth, just after 10.20pm on Sunday, May 5, to find Christopher with a life-threatening head injury after an air rifle was fired.

Mr Humphreys died in hospital six days later.

In a statement Mr Humphreys family said: “Today marks the end of this terrible ordeal for our family, and we can now begin to grieve the devastating loss of Chris who was a fantastic son and brother. 
“We would like to thank the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, who were fantastic throughout, and South Yorkshire Police for their support during this difficult time.”

Senior investigating officer, Detective Inspector Victoria Short, said: “This case has tragically demonstrated that owning an air weapon can have fatal consequences.

“Even though air weapons can be legally owned, they are very dangerous items and must be treated as such.

“These weapons must be used in the correct and appropriate manner, stored safely, and not played with while under the influence of alcohol.”

She added: “Our thoughts are with Christopher’s family as they begin this next step of the grieving process.”

Fairchild of Handsworth Grange Road, will be sentenced later this month.