Melbourn man pleads guilty to manslaughter after Meldreth man dies from gunshot wound

PUBLISHED: 16:54 13 November 2014 | UPDATED: 17:02 13 November 2014

Ian Catley.

Ian Catley.

Archant

A man has pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of a Meldreth man who died from a gunshot wound.

Philip Harper.Philip Harper.

Ian Catley, of Metcalfe Way in Melbourn, pleaded guilty at Southwark Crown Court today to the manslaughter of Philip Harper, 46, of High Street in Meldreth.

This follows an incident on June 29 this year when Mr Harper suffered fatal gunshot wounds during an afternoon of shooting rabbits and pigeons with Catley on farmland south of Melbourn, near Black Peak Farm.

Shortly before 6pm that evening, Catley, 40, presented himself at Melbourn Ambulance Station with Mr Harper seriously injured in the back of his Landrover Discovery.

A critical care paramedic attended to Mr Harper, but he died at the scene as a result of a gunshot wound to the chest.

Mr Harper had bought what he believed to be a bullet proof vest from a surplus store the day before.

Following his arrest, Catley failed to mention that, before arriving at the ambulance station, he had removed Mr Harper’s protective vest, which was later located in the back of the Landrover.

Det Sgt Andrea Warren said: “This was a foolish incident that ended in tragedy.

“Catley’s actions after the incident, in not giving us the full details of the events that had occurred, prolonged the investigation unnecessarily, however I welcome his guilty plea today.

“Our sympathies are with Mr Harper’s family at this time.”

Catley will return to court for sentencing on January 16, 2015.

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