Peter Hesford - ‘Shot by Stray Bullet’ While Tending His Front Garden

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Police have made a public appeal for help to solve the mystery of how a grandfather was apparently shot by a stray bullet as he tended his front garden.
Paramedics assumed that Peter Hesford, 61, had suffered a serious stroke when he collapsed suddenly outside his terrace home in Chorlton, Manchester, last month.
It was only when doctors at Wythenshawe Hospital examined a CT scan that they spotted what ballistics experts later confirmed to be the bullet lodged in the brain at the back of his skull. He was transferred to Hope Hospital, in Salford.
Detectives, who admit that it is one of the strangest cases they have encountered, are working on one theory that the gunman could have fired into the air, possibly streets away, and remains unaware of the consequences of his actions.
Mr Hesford, a builder and secretary of Altrincham FC, a non-league football club, remains in a serious but stable condition. He has lost the sight in his left eye, is partially paralysed down his right side and has no memory of what happened to him.
Surgeons carried out an operation to retrieve the bullet but decided to leave it in place when it became further embedded in the brain. Detectives have released an image of the bullet as part of the public appeal.
The incident happened on April 19 as he was preparing ground to be paved outside his house. Marie Fuller, 50, his partner, a mental health nurse, recalls hearing a metallic sound. She and her daughters thought at the time he had probably fallen.
When they reached him he was slumped against a fence, incoherent, with blood pouring from the eye.
They took off his shattered glasses to try to staunch the flow.
Ms Fuller said: “When we first got to him, we thought that he had had a stroke and hit his glasses on something as he fell causing it to shatter into his eye.
“His speech was incoherent so he could not tell us what had happened. The paramedics thought he had had a stroke too. Then they did some brain scans in hospital and that is when they said it looked like he had been shot.
Eventually ballistic experts had to be called to confirm that the object lodged at the back of the brain was a bullet.
Ms Fuller said: “We do not know how it got there. He is aware that he has been shot but he has told his friend that he does not know why anyone would do something like that to him. He does not have any enemies.
“The doctors say he has post-traumatic stress amnesia so we have been told not to ask him anything else about what happened. He has told the police that he did not see anyone, so we are just hoping that someone else did. The not knowing is just making it harder”.
Tracy, 23, one of his six children, said that her father’s condition appeared to deteriorate after the operation.
She said: “He does not know what year it is but he recognises his children’s faces.
“He is such a gentlemen. He was always willing to help anyone out. That is why we thought it must have been an accident. It is too awful to think that he was targeting on purpose. It is just bizarre”.
Detective Chief Inspector Steve Eckersley, of Greater Manchester Police, said: “This man has obviously suffered a really serious injury. We have made many inquiries, but we have not yet found out how he was hurt.
“We cannot rule out that this bullet was fired into the air and then came down and went into his eye.
“At the moment, it remains a mystery. It is probably the strangest incident that I have ever investigated”.

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