A JEALOUS lover accidentally shot his girlfriend in the face after a row over her friendship with another man.
Jonathan Mills shot his partner Carla Bailey, 20, in the chin with an air pistol after a row.
The incident was described by his own defence lawyer as an act of ‘monumental stupidity’.
The angry 23-year-old was waving the gun around in a bid to frighten his partner after the argument broke out. But he said he didn’t realise the weapon was loaded.
During the row he pulled the trigger, unwittingly shooting Miss Bailey, who was left screaming in agony, with blood pouring from her face.
She went to Queen Alexandra Hospital and had to have the pellet removed before the wound was stitched up.
Roderick James, defending, said: ‘This was indeed monumental stupidity, irresponsibility, carelessness, lack of foresight and all the rest of it from somebody who is very immature. He didn’t know there was a pellet in the chamber. He didn’t intend to injure her in any way.’
He added: ‘It’s unlikely that it will be repeated. He doesn’t come across as a violent man.’
Mills fell out with his then partner because he was jealous about how well she was getting on with his friend Matthew Perry.
The three had all been drinking and when they went back to Mills’ parents’ home in Stockheath Way, Leigh Park, he lost his temper.
He was arrested and initially denied hurting Miss Bailey.
But he pleaded guilty to assault causing actual bodily harm and possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, following the incident last September.
Sentencing Mills at Portsmouth Crown Court, Judge Ian Pearson said he had come close to jailing him. ‘It’s a serious injury to your victim – she will be scarred on her chin permanently,’ he said.
‘You were not intending to injure, you were merely being extremely stupid, waving it about and pointing it and pulling the trigger.
‘You have missed an immediate custodial sentence by a whisker.
‘You have been extremely fortunate. I hope you make the use of the opportunity that has been given to you.’
The court heard Mills had done his initial navy training but the judge said it was unlikely he would now be allowed to join.
Mills was given a 12-month prison sentence suspended for a year.
He must complete 250 hours of unpaid work and has to stay at home from 7pm to 7am every day for the next six months under a curfew, and he was told to pay £250 in compensation to Miss Bailey.