Mum hits out at her grandfather after he killed her son, 6, with an air rifle

The grief-stricken mum of a boy shot dead by his great-grandfather in an air rifle tragedy delivered a scathing statement as he was jailed.

Albert Grannon, 78, was checking to see if the unlicensed weapon was loaded when he shot six-year-old Stanley Metcalf in the stomach during a family gathering in memory of the pensioner's late son.

The dying youngster yelled "you shot me, granddad" after relatives heard a loud bang inside Grannon's house in Sproatley, East Yorkshire, on July 26 last year.

Stanley's mum Jenny Dees placed a photo of Stanley in front of her in the witness box and hit out at Grannon as she read from an emotional victim impact statement, saying he had never apologised to her.

Ms Dees, who is Grannon's granddaughter, said: “Not once did he say sorry.

"Now, if he did, it would be meaningless, too little, too late.

"I hope you can live with yourself.”

Ms Dees 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."

She added: "Our whole word has changed forever. It is unbearable, we struggle to live, to eat and breathe. Nothing will make this better, our hearts are totally broken.

"The pain in my heart is unbearable, I cry and cry and sometimes I think I am not going to stop.

"The only reason I'm still here is because of [Stanley's twin sister] Elsie. Life is so hard to carry on with. Everything seems so pointless. Our family is broken beyond repair."

Earlier she said: "I have had no remorse shown to me. I have had no apology and that is unbearable and unbelievable to see.

"I loved and respected my granddad so much and the day Stanley died I thought he would come to me and say he was sorry, why wouldn't he? But he didn't.

"People say he is in shock and that he will say sorry afterwards. We are nearly up to a year now and he hasn't.

"I do believe that if you cause the death of somebody, regardless of whether you meant to or not, there should be a punishment in place and that is going to prison."

She spoke out shortly before Grannon was jailed for three years at Sheffield Crown Court on Tuesday.

He had previously pleaded guilty to manslaughter and possessing an adapted air rifle without holding a firearms certificate.

Grannon showed no emotion as he stood to be sentenced.

Stanley's devastated father Andrew Metcalf said in his statement that his family's "little world came crashing down" when his son died.

He added: "Stanley, my son and best friend had his life taken away.

"Every morning and every night I go into Stanley's room and still tell him 'you're my best friend and I love you'.

"There's no reply, and kissing his pillow is not quite the same as kissing your son goodnight.

"The last question Stanley asked was 'grandad, why did you shoot me?' So I'd like to ask the same. Sam why you take my little boy away?"

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 overhanging public gallery.

Many were in tears as the sentence was passed.

As Grannon was taken down, one woman shouted from the balcony: "Love you, Dad."

Harrowing details of the incident were revealed for the first time.

The court was told Grannon, a retired shipbuilder, shot dead his great-grandson at close range as he checked his .22 calibre air rifle.

Stanley, who suffered a hole the size of a 5p piece in his stomach, shouted "you shot me, granddad" after the air rifle was discharged a few feet away from him.

Grannon told police the pellet must have ricocheted as he checked the weapon.

But expert analysis showed the shot went directly into Stanley'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.

Mr Elvidge said that the youngster said "you shot me, granddad" after the gun, which didn't have a safety catch on, went off.

Ms Dees ran into the kitchen where she found her son bent over clasping his stomach.

She carried him outside and lifted up his shirt to see his wound.

The prosecutor said that 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.

Paul Genney, defending, told the court that, despite the views of Stanley parents, Grannon "blames himself totally".

Mr Genney 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".

During sentencing, 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?"

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