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Farmer being treated for gunshot wound

PUBLISHED: 10:57 20 February 2002 | UPDATED: 11:22 03 March 2010

FARMER and former county councillor John Gleed is in hospital today after he suffered a shot gun wound to the face in an incident at his Suffolk home.

The 71-year-old, who was once a parliamentary candidate, was taken to West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds following the apparent accident around 10am yesterday.

FARMER and former county councillor John Gleed is in hospital today after he suffered a shot gun wound to the face in an incident at his Suffolk home.

The 71-year-old, who was once a parliamentary candidate, was taken to West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds following the apparent accident around 10am yesterday.

Mr Gleed, of Hall Farm, Brent Eleigh, near Lavenham, was later transferred to Ipswich Hospital where a specialist team of clinicians in oral surgery is based.

A spokesman for the East Anglian Ambulance Trust said that it was believed that Mr Gleed had been out shooting in the grounds of his home when he stumbled, causing the gun to go off. He was found in a ditch and had sustained damage to the lower part of his face.

"We gave him oxygen and got him out of the ditch he had fallen into and wrapped him up in silver foil type blankets," said the spokesman.

Last night Mr Gleed's wife Caroline said he had suffered the injuries when he went out shooting pigeons at their farm.

"He went out early on to pursue pigeons with the farm gun (a shotgun) and at some point he slipped down a bank into a stream and the gun went off and he received an injury to his lip.

"He is making a good recovery and he is fine."

Mr Gleed was a Liberal Democrat member on Suffolk County Council, representing the Brett ward, which includes Lavenham, for six years. He was first elected in 1993, and was re-elected in 1997 before stepping down in June last year.

While at County Hall he sat at various times on the police authority, along with education and county farms committees. He also served on Babergh District Council from 1987 to 1991.

John Wyn Roberts, a Conservative who won the Brett seat from the Liberal Democrats last year, said: "I am shocked by this news. Mr Gleed was a very conscientious representative for the people of his ward."

Mr Gleed hit the headlines two years ago when he became upset by a decision at Babergh when a new housing scheme at Lavenham was approved on a chairman's casting vote.

He took his protest to the home doorstep of the district council's chief executive Pat Barnes, and also turned up at the authority's Hadleigh office to lobby staff as they arrived for work.

Mr Gleed circulated a letter headed "Why planning is not working as well as it should do in Babergh," but later apologised for his actions.

He is a university graduate and keen sportsman, who plays golf and tennis. It is understood Mr Gleed's wife was at home when he was discovered yesterday. In 1993 she helped lead Farm Aid, an initiative by Suffolk farmers to collect goods for Oxfam's Cold Front appeal, along with items for the British Red Cross Society and the Save the Children Fund.

As well as his passion for politics Mr Gleed was known as a keen sportsman who excelled in tennis, skiing and climbing.

He suffered frostbite while climbing Italy's Gran Paradiso and experienced snow blindness in the Alps. He told The Evening Star of his ambition to spend his 60th birthday 16,000ft up Mont Kassbeck in the Caucasus, a goal that came after he successful climbed Mont Blanc for his 50th birthday.

A spokesman for Suffolk Police said last night: "We can confirm we were called to an address in the Brent Eleigh area about 10am this morning > after a 71-year-old man was found with shot gun wound to the head. He is being treated at Ipswich Hospital.

"Our inquiries are continuing but we are not looking for anyone else at this stage."

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