Man fined for accidentally shooting child

By Connie Osborne Friday 04 January 2013 Updated: 07/01 10:27

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Buy photos » Nine-year-old Owen Kirton shows the mark from where he was hit with an air riffle pellet. Picture by Neville Collins 52012020ncr1.

A MAN who accidentally hit a school boy with an air rifle pellet has been fined and ordered to pay compensation.

Lesley Guy, from Yardley Close in Winyates, was told to pay a total of £250 after pleading guilty to firing a missile beyond his premises at Redditch Magistrates' Court on Wednesday (January 2).

The court heard how on the morning of December 18 a pellet had hit nine-year-old Owen Kirton while he walked through the courtyard of Ipsley Middle School.

Guy, who was a member of the army and an air rifle group in Redditch, had been using his shed for target practice when the pellet ricocheted over the fence and the roof of Ipsley Middle School, hitting Owen.

Although the school boy did not require medical treatment, the impact left a visible red mark close to his left collarbone.

Ian Parsons, defending, said Guy admitted it was irresponsible to be practising so close to a school and he was extremely sorry to hear someone had been hurt.

"He fully accepts what he has done and is very sorry. He will never be firing in his back garden again."

He added he deserved credit for his early plea and full admittance.

The 69-year-old had to pay total costs of £250, including a fine of £95, £50 compensation to the boy's family, £85 court costs and a victim surcharge of £20.

Police have yet to decide whether or not his gun will be returned to him.

Owen's father Darrin said he was pleased with the fine but added: "I'm not happy if he gets that gun back. No-one should have a weapon anywhere near a school."

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