Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Man shot in eye with paintball gun at fly protest

Flies at a protest in Rossington
Image caption Residents claim their lives are being made impossible by the number of flies in the area

A man protesting about flies in a South Yorkshire village has been shot in the eye with a paintball gun.

About 30 people took part in a protest at Rossington, near Doncaster, over noise and flies which they claim are linked to recycling firm Morris Metals.

The group was shot at by a man wearing a balaclava and riding a quad bike. The injured man has been taken to hospital.

Morris Metals said no-one at the company had "any affiliation" with the protest and the "abhorrent" attack.

The company said it had been working with the Environment Agency and the fly problem had been "eradicated".

Police are investigating the shooting.

Read more about this and other stories from across Yorkshire

Villagers in Rossington were protesting against the number of lorries running through the area and about insects which they say come from the recycling firm.

Villager Cheryl Moy said the problem was making people prisoners in their homes.

"When it is warm its hot because you daren't open your living room windows, you can't get air in the house without having lots of flies coming in. Its horrible".

Image caption Residents brought examples of flies caught in their homes to the protest

Tom Morris, director of Morris Metals, said: "We've been working with the Environment Agency, we've eradicated any infestations we've had and we've changed our working procedures so we won't have an infestation in the future."

The company was restricted to 10 to 12 lorries per day and said it had never breached its permits.

Mr Morris added: "It's local residents' right to protest, I think the incident with the quad bike and the result is abhorrent and not something we can condone.

"No-one at the protest had any affiliation with Morris and Co."

The Environment Agency said it understood the issue was causing "real distress" to residents and had taken action.

"We have visited all permitted businesses on the estate to ensure that they are operating properly, and have instructed Morris Metals to take action to reduce the number of flies," it said.

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