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Man who shot workman escapes prison

PUBLISHED: 09:37 20 November 2008 | UPDATED: 21:50 05 July 2010

A man who shot a workman in the leg with an air pistol because he thought he was making too much noise avoided being sent to jail yesterday.

Neal Green was at home at his flat in Snape Drive, Lowestoft, on September 11 when he decided to take action over disturbance being caused by roadworks about 20 metres away.

A man who shot a workman in the leg with an air pistol because he thought he was making too much noise avoided being sent to jail yesterday.

Neal Green was at home at his flat in Snape Drive, Lowestoft, on September 11 when he decided to take action over disturbance being caused by roadworks about 20 metres away.

Colette Griffiths, prosecuting, told Lowestoft magistrates that when Green's girlfriend complained to him about the noise outside their flat, he shot out of the window at a workman.

She said: “He reached into a bag in a chest of drawers, got an air pistol, loaded it and fired out of the window towards the worker. The worker said that there was no machinery noise at the time and he heard a whistling noise coming towards him just before he was hit in the thigh.”

Eric Massen, who was working as part of a Suffolk county highways team, was struck with a pellet from the gun but was not injured because he was wearing thick trousers.

Police were called and found two airguns in the flat. One had been fired.

Green, 21, who worked as a trainee mechanic until he was made redun-dant, admitted when he appeared at Lowestoft Magistrates' Court last month to firing an air weapon and assault. He was warned that he could be given custody.

Chris Bowles, for Green, said yesterday that the court needed to take into account Green's early guilty plea and his previously clean record.

He was sentenced to a 12-month community order and must do 150 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay £100 compensation to Mr Massen and £20 towards costs.

James Goldspink, chairman of the bench, said: “The bench had a long, long discussion about this, including locking you up, because this is a serious offence. You are a very fortunate man.”

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