A father has been jailed for four and a half years for shooting a man in the head with a pellet gun, thinking he had threatened his young son.
Financial advisor Deon Caley, 48, of Grovewood Road, Misterton, held the air pistol to the forehead of 41-year-old builder Kirk Taylor and fired, Nottingham Crown Court heard.
The victim needed surgery to remove pieces of metal pellet and may suffer permanent numbness, the court was told.
The attack took place in the grounds of Misterton Methodist Church where Mr Taylor was working on 11th April.
Ill-feeling had existed on Caley’s part since a problem 18 months earlier, said Laura Pitman, prosecuting.
He claimed his son had been assaulted by Mr Taylor.
“The police carried out a full investigation at the time and no action was taken against Mr Taylor,” said Miss Pitman.
Mr Taylor claimed the boy had been harassing his wife, banging on the front door and verbally abusing her.
Mr Taylor had told the boy off and told him to go on his way.
He had gone to talk to the boy’s father but he had not been at home.
On 11th April Mr Taylor went home for lunch and words were exchanged with the boy who was walking down the street.
Miss Pitman told the court Mr Taylor had muttered an insult under his breath.
The boy’s father later armed himself with a loaded air pistol and went looking for Mr Taylor.
He asked at a local fish shop and said ‘I’m going to deal with it myself.’
Soon afterwards Mr Taylor saw Caley get out of his Toyota 4x4 with what looked like a gun.
Caley ran at the terrified builder, who asked what he was going to do.
Caley swore at him, saying ‘come here’ then put the gun to his forehead and pulled the trigger.
Miss Pitman said: “Mr Taylor said he felt a blow like being punched. Blood spurted from above his left eye.”
Caley ran off but a couple driving past had seen what happened.
The woman took Caley’s car number and her husband tried to pull the black handgun from Caley’s grip in his car. But Caley managed to drive off at speed.
Judge Andrew Hamilton commended the couple and awarded Nathan Brooks £400.
Mr Taylor was taken to hospital in Rotherham. And Caley was quickly arrested driving in the area. He told the police where he had hidden the gun in a local dyke.
He pleaded guilty to wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm and possessing an air weapon with intent to cause fear of violence.
His barrister David Webster said: “He felt he had to do something. Sadly it was utterly misguided and dangerous.”
“This madness has effectively ruined his life.”
He was a man of previous good character, with two sons and a wife who was a nurse.
He had lost his 12-year business as a financial advisor, and also had a heart condition.
Judge Hamilton told Caley the case remained an enigma.
“What led you to behave like this is completely inexplicable,” he said.
“It seems to me there is no criticism to be levelled at Mr Taylor.”
Judge Hamilton said it seemed to him the words Mr Taylor muttered under his breath might have been made by many people. He said he suspected the boy had greatly exaggerated matters.
The shooting was something Mr Taylor would never forget. “It was the most terrible thing to do,” the judge told Caley.
The judge ordered that Caley’s car be sold and the proceeds, up to £4,000, be paid to Mr Taylor as compensation.
The victim was in court for the hearing but did not wish to speak afterwards.
Det Const David Sadler, who led the case, said it served as an example of the damage air weapons could cause.
“This was a deliberate act by Caley to seriously injure a man, through some warped belief that he posed a threat to his family,” he said.
“Mr Taylor, minding his own business during his normal daily work, was lucky not to have been blinded by this pellet or even killed.”
“There are rumours circulating in the village that this was a revenge attack following an assault on Caley’s son by Mr Taylor.”
“Let me be clear, there was no such assault.”