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Stowmarket: Schoolboy had to undergo surgery to remove air rifle pellet from his hand after man ‘accidentally’ fired at him during target practice

10:45 02 September 2014

Ipswich Crown Court

Ipswich Crown Court

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A man who shot a schoolboy in the hand with an air rifle pellet after getting him to hold a stick as a target has been given a suspended prison sentence.

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Nigel Lyas fired three shots before missing the target and accidentally hitting the boy’s hand, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

As a result of the incident the boy underwent surgery under a general anaesthetic to remove the pellet, said Michael Crimp, prosecuting.

Lyas, 44, of Jubilee Avenue, Stowmarket admitted assaulting the boy, who cannot be named because of his age, causing him actual bodily harm in October last year.

He was given a six month prison sentence suspended for 18 months, nine months supervision and a four month curfew. He was also ordered to pay £1,000 compensation to the boy and £500 costs.

Recorder Richard Christie also confiscated the air rifle used in the incident and banned Lyas from having access to any firearms for 18 months.

Sentencing Lyas Recorder Christie said he had fired three shots at the stick the boy was holding before hitting him in the hand with a pellet.

Ian James for Lyas said there was no suggestion that what happened was anything but an accident.

He said Lyas had taken what happened extremely seriously and accepted he had acted foolishly.

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