CAMBS: Melbourn man admits manslaughter after shooting friend while trying out his new ‘bullet-proof vest’

Ian Catley

Ian Catley - Credit: Archant

A Meldreth man was killed after his friend shot him in the chest while trying out a bullet proof vest.

Philip Harper

Philip Harper - Credit: Archant

Ian Catley, 40, of Metcalfe Way, Melbourn, pleaded guilty at Southwark Crown Court today (November 13) to the manslaughter of Philip Harper, 46, of High Street, Meldreth.

Mr Harper suffered fatal gunshot wounds following an incident on farmland south of Melbourn, near Black Peak Farm, on June 29 this year.

On June 28, Mr Harper had bought what he believed to be a bullet proof vest from a surplus store.

On the afternoon of June 29, Catley and Mr Harper went shooting rabbits and pigeons on farmland south of Melbourn.


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Shortly before 6pm that evening, Catley drove Mr Harper to Melbourn Ambulance Station, in Whiting Way, with Mr Harper seriously injured in the back of his Landrover Discovery.

A paramedic attended to Mr Harper however he died at the scene as a result of a gunshot wound to the chest.

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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 rear of the Landrover.

Detective Sergeant 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.”

Ian Catley will be sentenced on January 16.

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