Allan Corlett, 75, from Formby was this week handed a 20-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months along with a restraining order after pleading guilty to possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.

The pensioner shot an air rifle twice near the 13-year-old son of his neighbour after the boy climbed over his garden fence to retrieve a football.

The retired businessman insisted he wasn’t aiming to hit the boy and hid his face after walking free from Liverpool Crown Court this week.