Southampton man jailed for shooting man in the head with a crossbow who survived attack
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A Southampton man has been jailed for shooting another man in the head with a crossbow, who survived the attack.
Maricel Melinte, 47, of Fuschia Gardens, Southampton, was found guilty at Winchester Crown Court of attempted murder in December following the incident at his home address on Sunday, 26 September 2021.
Just before 3pm, the victim – a man in his 30s known to Melinte – was sat in the garden when Melinte shot him at close range with the weapon.
A struggle ensued in which Melinte tried to attack his victim with a hammer, but the man fought him off and ran back into the house, locking his attacker outside.
He stumbled into Winchester Road where he collapsed.
Moments later, we were called by members of the public and arrested Melinte in the back garden as well as seizing the crossbow and a broken bolt shaft.
Both men were taken to hospital. CT scans showed that the crossbow bolt was lodged in the victim’s skull and had gone into his brain, so doctors placed him into an induced coma for two weeks.
At this stage, he was not expected to survive, but neurosurgeons at Southampton General Hospital carried out a complicated and lengthy operation to remove the bolt.
Despite the odds, the surgery was a success.
After he regained consciousness, the victim told officers he had unwittingly filmed the whole incident on his camera, which he put on top of Melinte’s shed to film a time-lapse video that afternoon. This had been recovered as part of the forensic search of the garden.
The victim still has issues controlling his left eye and with his right elbow, which had been dislocated during the incident and also required surgery, but he is on the road to recovery.
At Winchester Crown Court on Friday, 10 February, Melinte was sentenced to 18 years in prison.
DI Howard Broadribb from Western Investigations was the officer in charge of this case. He said: “The fact that this man survived such an ordeal is quite simply a miracle; the bolt was millimetres away from killing him.
“I can only be thankful that it stopped where it did so he was able to give us his account of what happened that afternoon.
“Although thankfully he is still with us, his life has been changed forever in the space of a few seconds due to Melinte’s incomprehensible actions. I would like to commend his bravery throughout the court process.
“We may never know why Melinte decided to commit this awful act, but thanks to the hard work of the investigators and the footage obtained from the camera, he will be spending a long time behind bars for this terrifying attack.
“We take all instances of serious violence incredibly seriously and in this case, we used all the resources at our disposal to make sure the victim got the justice he deserved.”