Man fired crossbow at neighbour after accusing him of sleeping with girlfriend

Delroy Mairah was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court

Delroy Mairah was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Essex Police

A 40-year-old Colchester man who fired a crossbow at a neighbour after accusing him of sleeping with his girlfriend has been jailed for three years and four months.

The metal-tipped bolt went through the 25-year-old victim’s shirt and penetrated the skin of his right abdomen, causing a relatively minor injury, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Sentencing Delroy Mairah, Judge Emma Peters described the crossbow as a “very frightening” weapon and said the victim must have been terrified.

She said that if Mairah had been closer when he fired the crossbow or if the bolt had hit the victim in the heart or the eye the consequences could have been much more serious.

Delroy Mariah pictured with the crossbow

Delroy Mariah pictured with the crossbow - Credit: Essex Police

She said the victim, who had only moved into his flat a few days earlier, had been smoking a cigarette in a car park outside his flat when he was confronted by Mairah who accused him of having a sexual relationship with his girlfriend.

Mairah had come with a couple of metres of the victim before firing the crossbow at him. 

In addition to the crossbow Mairah had been holding a small axe and the victim had heard him reload the crossbow after firing the first bolt.

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Judge Peters said although the crossbow could be purchased lawfully it looked like a military weapon.

Mairah, 40, of East Street, Colchester, admitted assault causing actual bodily harm, possessing a crossbow and possessing an article with a blade, namely an axe. The offences took place in East Street, Colchester on September 11.

During the sentencing hearing CCTV footage of the incident was played to the court.

Richard Kelly, prosecuting, said the £80 crossbow was capable of firing bolts at 200 feet per second.

The incident happened in East Street, Colchester

The incident happened in East Street, Colchester - Credit: Google Street View

The court heard that Mariah had a number of previous convictions but had not been in trouble since 2010.

Kevin Toomey, for Mairah, said his client had formed the view that the victim was forming a relationship with his partner, who lived in the same block of flats as the victim,, and had spoken to him about it the day before the assault.

“That conversation did nothing to dispel his perceived anxiety,” said Mr Toomey.

He said Mairah had overreacted in an extraordinary way. “It was avoidable, it was stupid and it was unnecessary,” he said.