Connor Minto shot in the head during schoolboy football match

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Connor Minto, an 11-year-old schoolboy from County Durham was shot in the head with a pellet gun whilst waiting to come on as a substitute during a Saturday league football match.

The Daily Mail reports how the youngster was lucky to avoid a more serious injury when he became the victim of an unprovoked attack as he stood on the sidelines of an U12s game between Chester-le-Street Town and Coxhoe at Hermitage Academy over the weekend.

Minto could've been blinded had the pellet - which can be seen lodged in his forehead in the picture above - connected just a few inches lower, with the .22 bullet narrowly missing his left eye.


The pupil was treated at Royal Victoria Hospital in Newcastle where the pellet was removed and he received stitches. Three 14-year-old boys were arrested in connection with the incident, but have since been bailed pending further enquiries.

Police later released images of the teenager's injury to raise awareness about the dangers of young children using air rifles, in the hope it will deter other individuals to take more responsibility in the future.

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Minto is recovering well from the injury he sustained, but according to his mother Kerry, the incident has left a mental scar, explaining that her son has lost confidence and is now afraid to go outside through fear he might be targeted again in the future.

"Physically he has recovered from the incident but mentally he is terrified," she said. "He is scared to go out and he now sticks by me or his dad's side.

"He's scared if he goes out again they might attack again."

"He is worried he might have been specifically targeted. He knows the police have arrested people but he also knows they are not still locked up in the police station.

"He's scared if he goes out again they might attack again."

The worried mother added: "I dread to think what could have happened if it would have been an inch or so lower - it would have changed his whole life.

"I think a lot of people aren't aware how dangerous air rifles can be. It's important that children are not left unsupervised with them."

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