A landowner has been arrested for allegedly firing a shotgun over the head of a five-year-old traveller child who was trespassing on his land, it has emerged.
The incident happened near the controversial Light and Life Gypsy Church Festival, which has seen over 1,000 travellers in 200 caravans descend on a 30-acre field in the village of Swavesey, Cambs.
A 40-year-old man from Swavesey was arrested on firearms offences after the boy’s father, whose family had been staying at the event, called police at 6pm on Thursday.
John Boyd, senior pastor at the Light and Life festival, said it was lucky the boy had not been injured.
He said: ”It’s a terrible thing to do to a little boy collecting ladybirds at the bottom of a garden.
”It must have been very frightening for the lad.
”I can’t imagine what this man was thinking when this happened. He must have been very scared himself.
”Thankfully this is a Christian family and the matter did not escalate as it could have. And no-one was hurt.”
Furious locals say the week-long event – which finished on Friday – put the village into ”lockdown”.
Local shopkeepers complained children had been stealing from shelves and terrified pub landlord Will Wright, of the White Horse pub, locked his doors to non-locals following the ”invasion” last Saturday.
A police spokeswoman said the man had held a shotgun license, which had now been revoked along with the shotgun.
She said: ”We were called at 6pm on Thursday evening by a man who said his five-year-old son had walked on private land.
”A man, believed to be the landowner, asked him to leave. He was carrying a gun, which he fired in to the air.
”We have arrested a 40-year-old man on suspicion of firearms offences.
”This man has now been bailed and no charges have been made.”