Warning after shots fired in playing field

A DOG walker who was shot in the leg with an air rifle in a playing field is warning others to be alert when visiting the site.

Darren Anstee, of Knights Meadow, Battle, was left with a pellet embedded in his thigh following the incident near Coronation Gardens in the afternoon of December 4.

The culprit was never caught, and on February 2, Mr Anstee heard the sounds of shots ringing out in the park once again.

The 45-year-old said he is concerned that a young child playing in the children’s play area could be hurt.

Mr Anstee was walking his two dogs when he was shot.

He said: “I heard a high-pitched whistle and felt a thud in my left thigh.

“There was a hole in my jeans and blood coming through my jeans.

“I had to go to the Conquest to get the pellet removed.”

He added: “It may have been kids mucking about in the bushes - I don’t know.

“I know they were targeting me because the dogs were not near me.”

Fearing for the safety of his dogs, Mr Anstee went back to his car and dialled 999 and the police were on the scene immediately.

But despite officers knocking on several doors and searching the area, the culprit was not found.

Mr Anstee, who regularly walked his pets in the area, did not take them back to the site until a couple of weeks ago - when once again he heard the sound of shots being fired.

He told the Observer: “The other weekend I happened to be walking along the backs of the gardens and I could hear an air rifle being fired.

“There’s a children’s play park there - it’s dangerous.

“I want to make people aware this is going on .

Sergeant Paul Masterson, of the Battle Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “Any incident of this type we take very seriously.

“There has been injury to a member of the public and we will do all we can to locate the person doing this.

“If anyone hears any shots or sees anyone with a firearm they should call it in to us immediately.”

Anyone with information should call police on 101.