LONDON: A huntsman has been found not guilty of attempting to kill his former lover by shooting her outside her country home.
Brian Fraser, 63, was alleged to have pulled the trigger “in a fit of pique” in a bid to murder Louise Leggatt as she went to tend her horses at Apple Pie Farm in Benenden, Kent.
Prosecutors claimed he had recently been spurned by Mrs Leggatt who had rejected his efforts to rekindle their romance following the end of their five-year relationship.
But married Fraser, a former joint master of the Ashford Valley Hunt, denied responsibility for the shooting which happened at around 9.30pm on March 15 last year.
At Maidstone Crown Court, he was cleared of attempted murder and an alternative charge of GBH with intent following more than five hours of deliberation at the end of a two-week trial.
He previously admitted possessing a firearm without a licence and will be sentenced on March 18 following a pre-sentence report.
Leggatt held her head in her hands in the courtroom as the jury forewoman read out the verdict, while Fraser remained emotionless.
Judge Charles Byers warned Fraser that he remained “at risk” of going prison over the firearms offence.
The judge told him: “I have never come across such a lackadaisical and irresponsible attitude to firearms, particularly from someone described as a countryman.”