A PENSIONER has been jailed for three years in the UK over the death of his six-year-old great-grandson who he fatally shot with an air rifle.
Albert Grannon, 78, appeared at Sheffield Crown Court today to be sentenced over the killing of football-mad youngster Stanley Metcalf on July 26, 2018.
Stanley had been visiting his great-grandparents' home in Sproatley, East Yorkshire that Thursday afternoon when he suffered a pellet injury to the side of his abdomen at around 4pm.
He tragically passed away at Hull Royal Infirmary less than two hours after he sustained the injury at the hands of Grannon, the grandfather of his mother Jenny Dee.
Grannon – who bought the .22 calibre adapted air rifle for £90 "to shoot vermin" – was jailed for three years for manslaughter and four months for possessing a firearm without a licence, to run concurrently.
'Why did you take my little boy away?'
The pensioner originally told police that Stanley was hit by a pellet that must have ricocheted as he checked the weapon from just a few feet away.
But prosecutor John Elvidge QC said ballistics experts found the fatal shot went directly into the abdomen of Stanley, who shouted: "You shot me, granddad".
Ms Dees told the court she was still yet to receive an apology from Grannon almost a year on from her son's death.
Reading a statement to the court, the devastated mum said: "Never once did he say sorry and now if he did, it would be meaningless and too little too late.
"It was through his recklessness, stupidity and lack of forethought that caused Stanley to be taken away.
"I hope he can live with himself and the pain he has caused."
Stanley's father Andrew Metcalf said he had lost his "best friend and shadow", and asked Grannon: "Why didn't you check that gun, why did you point it at Stanley? Why did you take my little boy away?"
A family divided
Grannon showed no emotion as he stood to be sentenced, with the judge Mr Justice Lavender telling him: "You ended a young life and you brought lifelong grief and misery to his parents and to the whole of his family.
"What you did was obviously a very dangerous thing to do. Why on Earth did you do it?"
The court was told that Stanley's extended family had been split by the incident, a divide which was made all the more evident during proceedings – with some relatives sat in the court itself and others in the overhanging public gallery.
There were cries from both sides of the family after the sentence was passed and as Grannon was taken down, one woman shouted from the balcony: "Love you, Dad".
An inquest into Stanley Metcalf's death previously heard that a post-mortem examination found the cause of death to be "an airgun projectile wound to the abdomen".
The coroner's inquest was told how Stanley had been visiting family on Church Lane in Sproatley on July 26 last year when he suffered the injury at around 4pm, before passing away at Hull Royal Infirmary around 90 minutes later.
Following the inquest, an elderly relative who asked not to be named described him as a "brainy, kind little boy" and a football-mad Hull City fan.
The family member said the youngster had a twin sister who "loved him to bits", adding: "I don't know how you're supposed to explain things like that to a six-year-old girl. I've just been in floods of tears ever since it happened."