The parents of a baby left fighting for his life after he was shot in the head with an air rifle have called for a change in the law.
Jordan Walters shot 18-month-old Harry Studley when the tot visited the flat he shared with girlfriend Emma Horseman, both 24.
The bullet penetrated the toddler’s skull and he was airlifted to hospital for emergency surgery and still suffers several seizures a day.
Walters faces jail after he admitted GBH, but Horseman was cleared of aiding and abetting him.
Now Harry’s parents Ed Studley and Amy Allen are calling for a change in the law so a licence is needed for air rifles.
Currently most air weapons can be bought by anyone over 18 without a licence in England – but in Scotland one is needed for air rifles, thanks to laws introduced last year.
Mr Studley said: “We want to have a law put in place where people have to have a licence to own an airgun.
“We need to put the awareness out there so other parents who own air weapons, any kind of weapons, are careful round their kids so the same thing doesn’t happen to their children because what we’ve been through I wouldn’t wish on our worst enemy.
“We would like to try to start a campaign, get a petition going and get our local MP involved to maybe just impose a licensing law with air weapons, like they have in Scotland.
“I think that would be really important in our country, so that this doesn’t happen to another child or an adult.”
The trial of Miss Horseman at Bristol Crown Court this week heard Miss Allen and Horseman were in her flat when the incident happened on July 1.
Miss Allen took sons Harry and Riley to the flat in Hartcliffe, Bristol, where Horseman lived with Walters and their sons, then aged two and two-months-old.
She watched as Walters took the air rifle – used for shooting rabbits – out of a kitchen cupboard and clean it in front of the children, it was heard.
Mr Macfarlane told the jury Miss Allen was comforting Riley, who was upset, when her youngest Harry started to cry because “he wanted mummy too”.
Opening the case on Monday, prosecutor Andrew Macfarlane said: “While the boys were upset Amy heard Emma say ‘Oh Amy how do you cope with them crying all the time?’
“She replied ‘easy you just give them attention. You’ve just go to do it’.
“In fact it was just seconds later while Harry was still crying that Amy heard Emma say ‘shoot Harry just to frighten him, shut him up, shoot it at Harry’.
“Then Amy heard the sound of a gun firing. ”
The bullet hit the right side of the head in the temporal region between his forehead and his ear, the court heard.
Harry was taken to Bristol Royal Infirmary by air ambulance and underwent surgery and “fortunately his life was saved”, it was heard.
Miss Horseman denied telling Walters to shoot the toddler and was cleared by the jury in less than 40 minutes.
Mr Studley said he hopes Walters will be jailed for a long time when he is sentenced in a few weeks’ time.
He added: “It’s an unforgivable act what he’s done to hurt our child.
“It’s unforgivable for life. We respect him for pleading guilty at such an early stage, but we definitely will never forgive him.
“To us, his sentence should be long and lengthy for what he’s done.”
ADD TO GUN LAW CHANGE
The mum of a toddler shot with an air rifle told how her heart “broke into a thousand million little pieces” when doctors told her to “say goodbye” to her son.
Amy Allen was told to prepare for the worst ahead of emergency surgery after he was shot in the head – but miraculously he pulled through.
She said: “When I got to hospital I saw him on the table laid there lifeless.
“They said ‘say goodbye to your little boy because we’re 100 per cent certain he’s not going to make it’.
“Instantly then my heart just broke into a thousand million little pieces and I looked round to the doctor and said I’m not going to say goodbye to him.
“So I kissed him on the forehead and said I’ll see you later and it was heartbreaking enough even to say ‘mummy will see you later’.”
Speaking of the moment he was shot, she added: “They took him straight out of my arms and straight into the ambulance.
“It was the most frightening thing I’ve ever had to go through.
“It’s not something I would wish on anyone. Seeing him losing consciousness and losing breath.
“I was screaming at the ambulance people ‘save my baby, save my baby’. It’s all I can think of to this day.”