Page last updated at 16:20 GMT, Friday, 6 March 2009

Gamekeeper jailed over shooting

Andrew Dixon
Andrew Dixon admitted shooting Neil Willett

A gamekeeper who shot his estranged wife's lover in the face has been jailed at Lincoln Crown Court for 17 years for attempted murder.

Andrew Dixon, 46, admitted shooting Neil Willett as he saw him and Dixon's wife, Shirley, kiss as they drove home to South Ormsby on 21 June 2008.

Dixon, of Parsons Lane, Alford, also admitted possessing a gun in a public place.

The court had heard Mr Willet suffered serious injuries in the attack.

He still has trouble speaking and is fed through a bag to his stomach. Mrs Dixon, 43, suffered minor injuries.

'Tragic case'

The court heard Mr Willett had been a family friend of the Dixons before he started the affair with Mrs Dixon, a barmaid, in 2004.

Although she returned to her husband she renewed her relationship with Mr Willet in 2008 and on June 20 last year, the night before the shooting, she told Dixon she was continuing seeing him.

Dixon, a former sergeant from the Grenadier Guards, broke into the cottage his wife was renting in South Ormsby later that night but did not find her there and lay in wait behind the wheelie bins, the court heard.

At about 0800 BST the following morning, Mr Willet returned to the house with Mrs Dixon in his car.

Dixon spotted the couple kissing and tried to pull his estranged wife out of the way as she attempted to shield Mr Willet, whom he blasted in the face with his Beretta shotgun, the court heard.

Jailing him, Mr Justice Butterfield said: "This is a tragic case of a man of good standing in the community, a man who has served his country in the Grenadier Guards, a man loved by your family and admired and respected by those who knew you.

"It's a tragedy for you and those close to you and it's a tragedy for Mr Willett and his family."

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