Man given suspended sentence for shooting schoolboy in the hand with air rifle

Ipswich Crown Court
Ipswich Crown Court
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A Stowmarket man who accidentally shot a schoolboy in the hand with an airgun has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Nigel Lyas, 44, of Jubilee Avenue, appeared on Monday at Ipswich Crown Court after pleading guilty at a previous hearing to an offence of assault.

The court heard that Lyas had asked the boy, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, to hold a stick to use as a target.

Prosecuting, Michael Crimp said three shots were fired from an air rifle by Lyas, one of which struck the boy in the hand.

The pellet had to later be removed under general anaesthetic, said Mr Crimp.

In mitigation, Ian James said that Lyas had expressed genuine remorse and appreciated the seriousness of what he had done. Mr James said there was no suggestion that the incident had been anything other than an accident.

Sentencing him to six months imprisonment suspended for 18 months, Mr Recorder Richard Christie ordered Lyas to pay the boy £1,000 compensation and also pay £500 towards the cost of the prosecution.

Lyas has been banned from having any access to or involvement with any firearms for the next 18 months.

Mr Recorder Christie ordered that the air rifle involved in the incident should be confiscated.