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Pensioner admits killing great-grandson with air rifle

Albert Grannon pleaded guilty at Hull Crown Court to the manslaughter of six-year-old Stanley Metcalf.

Stanley Metcalf died from a pellet gun injury (Humberside Police/PA)
Stanley Metcalf died from a pellet gun injury (Humberside Police/PA)

A 78-year-old man has admitted killing his six-year-old great-grandson with an air rifle.

Albert Grannon pleaded guilty at Hull Crown Court to the manslaughter of Stanley Metcalf at a house in Sproatley, East Yorkshire, last year.

Stanley suffered a hole in the side of his abdomen when he was shot with the gun on July 26.

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The property in Church Lane, Sproatley, East Yorkshire, where Stanley Metcalf was killed by an air rifle pellet (Henry Clare/PA)

Grannon also admitted possessing an air rifle without holding a firearms certificate.

He sat in the dock wearing a checked jacket, shirt and tie, and listened to the brief proceedings through a headset.

John Elvidge QC, prosecuting, said the sentencing would be adjourned for pre-sentence reports.

Family members were seated in the public gallery and on chairs within the courtroom normally reserved for jury members.

No details of the offence were given during Monday’s court hearing.

Stanley was found injured at a property in Church Lane and was pronounced dead later the same day after he was taken to Hull Royal Infirmary.

An inquest opening at Hull Coroner’s Court last year heard that the youngster died after suffering a pellet gun injury to the side of his abdomen.

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A police car in Sproatley, East Yorkshire, as officers investigated Stanley Metcalf’s death (Henry Clare/PA)

In a statement issued following Stanley’s death, his family described him as being “vibrant and full of energy”.

They said: “We are absolutely devastated and completely heartbroken without Stanley and it still doesn’t feel real we won’t see his happy, smiling face again.

“There are no real words to express how the loss of Stanley has affected us and we all miss him so much.

“Stanley was a loving, caring and beautiful boy.”

Sentencing was adjourned until July 2 at Sheffield Crown Court and Grannon was granted conditional bail.

Judge Peter Kelson QC told the defendant: “It is important I make clear to you the mere fact I am ordering a pre-sentence report and renewing your bail should not be taken by you as any indication as to the likely sentence.

“This case, while tragic, is very serious and it’s entirely possible that a prison sentence will follow and you must prepare for that.”

Detective Inspector Rebecca Dickinson, who led the investigation with Humberside Police, said she was pleased that Grannon – who she said had shown no remorse until this point – had “faced up to the enormity of his actions”.

She said: “This was an extremely tragic incident where a six-year-old boy who had all his life ahead of him had it cut so needlessly short.

“It makes it all the more tragic that it was a member of his own family who was ultimately responsible for his untimely death.”

The detective added: “It is a nightmare that Stanley’s family have had to live through every day since last July, and will have to live through from now on.”

Describing the effect of Stanley’s death on his “inseparable” twin Elsie, she added: “I can only imagine what she will feel like now and when she reaches any milestones in her life, knowing that she should be sharing them with Stanley.

“There are no winners in this at all.”

PA

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