Hunting Accident File > Safe Hunting?: > 2005

Man shot stepson while hunting

July 27, 2005
By A Correspondent

A man killed his stepson during a fox-hunting expedition at night, a court was told.

Byron Evans, 13, was killed when his stepfather Philip Rowe, 51, fired his rifle believing that he was aiming at a fox. Rowe admitted manslaughter by gross negligence at Exeter Crown Court and will be sentenced next month. Rowe and his stepson were out shooting near Totnes, South Devon, last September.

They located their targets by shining a lamp into the darkness, which would light up the foxes’ eyes. Rowe and a gamekeeper left Byron and two other teenagers, but the two men became lost and failed to realise that they had almost returned to the spot where they had told the boys to wait.

The gamekeeper shone the torch and when Rowe spotted a “glint”, he fired and killed his stepson. The charge stated that Rowe “failed to identify a target properly or at all before shooting and fired at a glint. He failed to appreciate that he was shooting in the direction of Byron Evans.” Detective Sergeant Paul Bean, who headed the investigation, said afterwards: “It was totally unnecessary and avoidable.”

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