Mother of six-year-old Yorkshire boy shot dead by great grandfather pens emotional letter to Home Secretary as firearms safety consultation ends

The mother of a six-year-old Yorkshire boy shot dead by his own great grandfather has penned an emotional letter to the Home Secretary as a government consultation on firearms safety ends.

Stanley Metcalf was shot dead by his great-grandfather Albert Grannon at the 78-year-old's home in Sproatley, East Yorkshire in July 2018.

Since her son's death, Jennifer Dees has been campaigning under Stanley's Law to make it an offence to use, possess or acquire an air weapon without a certificate in England.

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Following a petition which received tens of thousands of signatures, Miss Dees secured an online meeting with Home Secretary Priti Patel in November last year to try and convince her a change needs to be made. A day later, the Government set out a consultation to strengthen firearms laws, but Miss Dees says she will not be fully satisfied until there is a change in the licensing.

Stanley Metcalf was shot dead by his great-grandfather Albert Grannon at the 78-year-old's home in Sproatley, East Yorkshire in July 2018.

Stanley was shot by Grannon, using a .22-calibre gun. The pensioner, who was jailed for three years in July 2019, had the weapon modified to make it more powerful, but did not apply for a licence thinking he would not get one because he was partially disabled.

In her letter to the Home Secretary, Miss Dees said: "I was just an ordinary woman with an ordinary life and family until the day of Stanley's death. It is extremely difficult to find the words to describe what was such a traumatic experience.

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"On a daily basis I have the never ending battle of relaying that day to my counsellor, never in my life would I imagine myself sitting there and explaining to someone how my six-year-old son died. Not only do I have to go through with that, my partner and my youngest daughter, Elsie, who is Stanley's twin, also have to endure the pain day in day out.

Jennifer Dees with her six-year-old son Stanley Metcalf.

"You may think this is stereotypical of me to say in my current situation but Stanley really did bring happiness and joy to my life every single day and now that has gone. However with still having all of my children and family it's not as straightforward to give up on life. I still strive every day to campaign for this law and it's the main thing to preoccupy my mind and to feel like I'm Stanley's voice.

"As you have stated in our previous meeting that you are 'serious about bringing about a change' and that 'I should take comfort in your support' and you 'instinctively feel in favour of Stanley's Law' that made me feel convinced that you were in full support of my campaign.

"I am also very pleased to read 'you would like to welcome my views which you will consider very carefully at the conclusion of the consultation, including the introduction of licensing for air weapons'.

"Home Secretary as you have the power to implement these laws you should also feel immensely proud of yourself that you will bring about a long-lasting change and will be forever known as the Home Secretary who made a massive difference to crime in England and Wales."

The Government said it will respond to any correspondence in due course.

Minister for Policing, Kit Malthouse said: “The loss suffered by Stanley’s family is truly unimaginable – we must do all we can to ensure that a tragedy like this never happens again.

“Our country already has some of the toughest firearms regulations in the world, and we are determined to ensure they stay this way.

“Air weapons are already tightly controlled and our proposals are focused on protecting children, while balancing the needs of people who use them safely and responsibly. The Government will consider the consultation responses and provide a formal response in due course.”