Great-grandad jailed for three years in Sheffield for shooting six-year-old boy dead
A pensioner has been jailed in Sheffield for three years for shooting his six-year-old great-grandson dead.
Albert Grannon, 78, was sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court after pleading guilty to manslaughter.
Stanley Metcalf, six, was shot with an unlicensed air rifle and Grannon initially told police officers the pellet must have ricocheted as he checked the weapon at his home in Sproatley, East Yorkshire, last year.
But expert analysis showed the shot went directly into the abdomen of his football-mad great-grandson on July 26.
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 had 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.
Mr Elvidge said that the youngster said ‘you shot me, granddad’ after the gun went off.
The prosecutor said that Grannon had a habit of keeping his 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."
Ms Dees read an emotional statement to court after placing a photo of Stanley in front of her in the witness box.
She 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."
Paul Genney, defending, told the court that, despite the views of Stanley’s parents, Grannon ‘blames himself totally’.
The judge, Mr Justice Lavender, asked Mr Genney if he would make one last effort to get Grannon to explain exactly what happened during the fatal incident and adjourned the case for a short time.
Mr Genney returned to court and described how 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’.