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Man shot in the face
Tuesday 26th January, 2010

A man was shot in the face by a pellet from an air rifle.

It happened when the 39-year-old victim was in his back garden on Bor Avenue in Hawkley Hall, Wigan, shortly before 4pm on Monday 25 January 2010.

The man's garden backs onto open fields in the country park surrounding 'Scotsman's Flash' where it is believed the weapon was fired.

The pellet lodged itself in the man's cheek just beneath his left eye, causing bleeding and swelling. He will need further tests to establish if there is any permanent damage to his vision.

It is believed the weapon was fired indiscriminately from the open countryside and the man was not targeted.

Police are now appealing to anyone with information to come forward.

Detective Sergeant Graham Clare, of Wigan CID, said: "There is nothing to suggest this man has been singled out, and it would appear as if the air rifle was randomly fired from the park.

"However, that should not detract from the seriousness of the incident. It is clear a powerful weapon was fired and had the pellet hit the victim a few centimetres higher, he could have been blinded.

"Firing such powerful air rifles, even in open space, can be extremely dangerous and even if you have a valid certificate to fire the gun, you need to be so careful you are not putting innocent members of the public at risk.

"There might have been a lot of people out walking their dogs or enjoying the park at that time of day who might have seen someone carrying an air rifle. If you did, then please call us."

Anyone with information is asked to call Wigan CID on 0161 856 5307 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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