Man gets two years for leaving toddler with permanent disabilities after shooting him in the head with air gun

A man who shot a crying 18-month-old boy in the head with an air rifle has been jailed for two years.

Jordan Walters, 25, fired the weapon right into the head of Harry Studley, who was left fighting for life and with permanent disabilities.

The toddler underwent emergency surgery after suffering the serious head injury at Walters' flat in Hartcliffe, Bristol, on July 1.

He has been left with limited vision in both eyes, daily post-traumatic seizures and finds it difficult to recognise his parents.

Bristol Crown Court heard Walters dialled 999 after the incident and later pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm.

Judge Julian Lambert jailed Walters for two years and described his actions as "grossly irresponsible".

"You bear a very heavy burden of responsibility for a crime that left a little boy fighting for his life and which leaves him with serious permanent disability," the judge told Walters.

Jordan Walters.

"Only the resolution of Harry in his fight for life and the brilliance of the surgical team saved him.

"But for your grossly irresponsible behaviour, Harry Studley would today be a bouncing little boy with unlimited expectations ahead of him in life."

The judge said Harry is showing symptoms of epilepsy and has badly impaired vision "and will so suffer for life".

"Many recreations and pleasures will be denied to Harry both in his youth and his adult life," the judge added.

"The impaired vision is severely limiting as well. There is a probably personality change also."

The court heard Walters and his partner, Emma Horseman, 24, were good friends with Harry's parents, Amy Allen and Edward Studley.

Both couples lived at Oak House, a block of flats in Bishop Avenue in Bristol.

Miss Allen brought Harry to the couple's flat, where Miss Horseman and her children were, on July 1 last year.

Walters later arrived, removed his air rifle from the cupboard and started cleaning it in preparation for shooting rats the following day.

Harry began crying and climbed up the sofa so he was next to his mother.

Harry Studley.

Miss Allen heard Miss Horseman say to Walters: "Shoot Harry, just to frighten him, to shut him up, shoot it at Harry".

The court heard Miss Horseman denies saying this and was acquitted of aiding or abetting Walters to inflict GBH on Harry following a trial.

Walters aimed the gun at the toddler and fired it right into his head, causing a significant head injury.

Prosecuting, Andrew Macfarlane said: "Amy immediately picked Harry up into her arms.

"There was blood on the floor and on the sofa. Harry kept losing consciousness."

An air ambulance arrived a short time later and Harry was taken to Bristol Royal Hospital for Children.

"Harry's parents were initially told by the doctors to say their goodbyes to Harry," Mr Macfarlane said.

Harry underwent emergency surgery, saving his life, and remained in hospital for four months.

The pellet from the air rifle will remain in his head for the rest of his life. He has only 50% vision in his right eye and 25% vision in his left.

"The parents tell me this morning that unfortunately they have noticed a deterioration in his personality," the prosecutor added.

"He is finding it difficult to recognise anyone, including his parents."

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