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Shooter cleared of airgun crime

A Shooting Times reader has spoken of his delight after being cleared on appeal of firing an air rifle at his neighbour?s caravan.

Brian Gentry-Long, aged 65, of Bathampton, told this magazine that the 18 months since he was first arrested by Avon and Somerset Police had been a ?nightmare?.

He was found guilty in May 2011 of causing criminal damage to the vehicle, and given an 18-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £1,800 in compensation. He has now successfully appealed against the verdict at Bristol Crown Court.

Mr Gentry-Long said: ?No motive was ever established for a responsible pensioner with more than 50 years of safe firearms handling suddenly to take random potshots at a friendly neighbour?s property.

?This was an appalling miscarriage of justice, and the past 18 months of my life have been a living nightmare. I am utterly ecstatic at this outcome of the appeal.?

Mr Gentry-Long was locked in a cell for seven hours before the charges were made, and later had his air rifle, other guns and ammunition seized by police, who revoked his firearms certificate.

However, during his appeal, a firearms expert said he believed the damage to the caravan could not have been caused by shots from Mr Gentry-Long?s air rifle.

The rest of this article appears in the 16th May issue of Shooting Times.

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