A Horsham man has been jailed for one year after shooting two free runners with an air rifle in Market Square earlier this year.
Eric Kingston, 47, a construction industry foreman of Market Square, was charged and pleaded guilty to two counts of actual bodily harm at Brighton Law Courts this morning (Tuesday November 5).
Max Cave, 21, and Luke Harty, 19, were running on rooftops in the town centre when they were struck in the arm, back, and abdomen, suffered puncture wounds. Mr Cave was then taken to East Surrey Hospital in Redhill for surgery.
At the time Mr Cave said: “All I felt was the pain, and I heard the noise. I looked down and I was bleeding, and I had no idea why.
“We got down and I thought I was the only one who had been hit, but then I heard lots of screaming.
“You’d think it happens maybe in London but I don’t think I have ever heard of [something like this happening] in Horsham.”
In August Mr Harty added: “It is pretty scary, you just don’t know what is going to happen when someone is pointing a gun at you.
“I figured it was an air rifle when Max got shot, and I knew they don’t do too much damage, but if he had aimed for the face who knows what could have happened.”
Both men are members of the group Storror, and train in a form of free running called parkour, which involves running, jumping and exploring across an urban area.
Three other free runners present at the time were not injured.
Mr Harty added: “Other people understand what we are doing and normally we get politely asked to move on, and we always do.
“We never go up to be a nuisance. We went up after working hours on a Sunday so we thought it wouldn’t be bothering anyone - maybe they don’t understand and think we break stuff.”