The final moments of little Stanley Metcalf's life are etched into his mother's memory in heart-rending detail.

On that hot summer's day, July 26 last year in England, Jenny Dees had taken her 6-year-old son and his twin sister, Elsie, to her grandparents' house in the East Yorkshire village of Sproatley.

Stanley was excited because his 78-year-old great-grandfather had promised to show him the air rifle he kept to shoot rabbits and squirrels.

When Jenny agreed he could see the gun, it didn't occur to her that Sam Grannon, a man she describes as being "like a second dad to me", would do anything to put her precious boy in harm's way. But less than a minute later, she heard the crack of a rifle shot and raced into the house to find her son clutching his stomach and telling her: "Grandad shot me".

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Stanley died less than two hours later at Hull Royal Infirmary.

This week, as retired ship worker Grannon was jailed for three years after pleading guilty at Sheffield Crown Court to manslaughter by gross negligence, Jenny, 41, and her partner Andy Metcalf, 40, have spoken exclusively to the Daily Mail about their son's dying moments, the lies that have compounded their grief at losing him, and the ongoing trauma suffered by his twin sister, Elsie.

Above all, the couple, from Hull, have been left devastated by the behaviour of some family members who have put loyalty to Grannon before sympathy for them, tearing the family apart.

In court this week, one of Jenny's aunts, who no longer speaks to her, shouted out "Love you, Dad!" as Grannon - who has never apologised to Jenny and Andy for killing their son - was led away to the cells.

Those who sympathise with Grannon believe what happened was a tragic accident.

Indeed, in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, Jenny initially sought to reassure her grandfather, putting her hand on his knee and telling him: "Don't worry. He'll be fine."

But that was before she and Andy discovered the disturbing truth about his devil-may-care behaviour. His $170 air rifle had been modified to make it more powerful.

Grannon needed a licence for it but didn't apply for one because he knew he would be turned down.

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His dominant right hand had been crushed during an accident at the Hull shipyard where he worked in the 1970s and he'd lost feeling in several of his fingers.

Then there is the fact that he used to keep the gun ready and loaded on a shelf in the kitchen.

Even though he had promised to show it to his great-grandson, he didn't bother to put the safety catch on because he found it difficult to operate with his left hand.

"The more we heard about what happened from the police, the worse it got," says Andy.

"This wasn't a simple accident. We've gone over and over it in our heads. He kept a loaded gun lying around - and not just any gun, an illegally modified one. We cannot understand how Sam could have been so reckless with our boy and why he has never offered us an explanation or an apology."

In the days that followed Stanley's death, Grannon's recollection of events constantly shifted.

At first, he said he didn't know what had happened. Then he said that the gun must have gone off by itself and that the pellet had ricocheted off the floor into his great-grandson's abdomen.

Such accounts appear to have been designed to deflect blame from what soon became clear was his own appallingly rash behaviour.

The truth was he had squeezed the trigger to check if the rifle was loaded while stupidly pointing the weapon at the little boy in a tiny kitchen that was barely 1.8m wide.

When Stanley told her that he'd been shot by the man he also knew as "Grandad", Jenny's first thought was that he was joking.

"I lifted his top up but I couldn't see anything. I thought he was play-acting and said: 'Don't be silly, Stanley, he wouldn't shoot you'."

As she checked the little boy over, Stanley turned to Grannon and said: "Why would you shoot me, Grandad?"

Grannon kept mumbling: "I don't know, Jenny," when she asked what happened.

With no sign of any blood, Jenny initially missed the tiny five-pence piece sized hole in Stanley's stomach. It was only when her mother, Grannon's eldest daughter Kathryn, lifted him up to carry him out into the garden that she realised something was wrong.

"My mum took him off me and he was looking over her shoulder and his eyes rolled to the back of his head. Then his head went back and I shouted: 'Put him down. Something's not right.' My mum lifted his top right up and saw a hole in his side. I said to my grandad: 'You've shot him' and he just kept saying: 'I don't know. I don't know'."

She shouted to her grandmother, Jennifer, to call for an ambulance. Meanwhile, Stanley was becoming increasingly distressed.

"He was shouting: 'Mummy, mummy, I need some water.' I was trying to reassure him that everything was going to be all right," says Jenny, who is still haunted by the memory of a bewildered Elsie asking if her brother was going to die and the promise she made her just before the ambulance doors closed.

"I said to her: 'He's going to be all right. I promise you'."

At first, says Jenny, the paramedics were reassuringly calm. Grannon also joined Jenny and Stanley in the ambulance, silently sitting in the front.

The journey to hospital soon became fraught.

"In the ambulance, Stanley was still talking to me. I kept telling him: 'I love you. Everything's going to be fine.' He kept asking for a drink of water but halfway to the hospital he stopped talking. The paramedic said he'd gone into cardiac arrest.

"I begged her. I said: 'Please just do what you've got to do and get him breathing. She ripped his top off and pumped his chest. He looked so tiny."

At the time, Jenny didn't know that the pellet that entered Stanley's stomach at point-blank range had gone right through him, perforating his abdomen and nicking an abdominal artery causing massive internal bleeding.

A team of surgeons operated in a desperate bid to save him while Jenny and Andy - who had raced to the hospital from work - waited behind a curtain.

There was a glimmer of hope when they briefly managed to restart Stanley's heart. But it was short-lived.

"When we were told that nothing more could be done, we knew that we weren't getting him back," says Jenny.

"I couldn't see anything around me. It was like the world had stopped. I fell on to my hands and knees. I was hysterical."

Hours earlier, Stanley had been dancing in his great-grandfather's kitchen. Now, his lifeless body was laid out on a hospital bed, wrapped in a white blanket.

"He was still warm," remembers Jenny.

"I held his hand and touched his face and he looked so perfect. His skin was still tanned. He'd put some of his dad's gel in his hair that morning. He looked as if he was sleeping. I said to him: 'Wake up, Stan, wake up'."

She and Andy were allowed to wash their son's face and hands and kiss him and say goodbye.

"We told him how much we loved him," says Andy.

By now, there was no sign of Grannon, who had been taken to another part of the hospital, feeling unwell.

Even when he was discharged, he made no attempt to visit Stanley at the morgue where Jenny and Andy were keeping a vigil.

The coffin of 6-year-old Stanley Metcalf arrives at Chanterlands Crematorium before his funeral. Photo / Getty Images
The coffin of 6-year-old Stanley Metcalf arrives at Chanterlands Crematorium before his funeral. Photo / Getty Images

Nearly a year after Stanley's death, Jenny and Andy try to remain composed. But Andy, a former taxi driver who now runs his own tyre business in Hull, breaks down when he recalls having to tell Elsie, who arrived at the hospital later, that her twin brother wasn't coming home.

"She had a little smile on her face when she saw us," says Andy.

"And then I had to tell her: 'I'm so sorry, but Stanley's died'."

The two children were especially precious because they had been conceived by IVF.

Jenny, who had been married before and has two older children, Daniel, 21, and 19-year-old Ellie, had been sterilised in her 20s and only decided she wanted to have more children after meeting Andy 12 years ago.

She conceived during their first round of treatment at a Sheffield clinic and delivered the twins naturally on December 21, 2011 - Stanley arrived first at 6.45am and Elsie followed 10 minutes later.

The children were especially close, sharing a bedroom, and played together constantly.

Elsie now has counselling twice a week and suffers from separation anxiety when apart from her mother.

"It hits her in waves," says Jenny.

"When she's feeling sad, she'll say she's got tummy ache and add: 'I just miss Stanley.' They were always together. We'll watch her walk into a park and stand there because she's having to learn how to play all over again."

But while Jenny and Andy have struggled to manage their own grief, other family members, including Jenny's aunts, have rallied around father-of-four Grannon, who posted a picture of himself and his wife enjoying a cruise ship holiday on December 22 - the day after what would have been Stanley's 7th birthday.

"We couldn't believe how insensitive it was," says Jenny.

"He was wishing everyone a happy Christmas but we weren't going to be having a happy Christmas.

"It was terrible. On what would have been the twins' birthday, we sang happy birthday to both of them, but watching Elsie open presents on her own that day, and on Christmas Day, was awful. Christmas will never be the same again."

Jenny was also deeply offended by a post he put on Facebook last October which read: "I'm too old to worry about who likes and who dislikes me. I have more important things to do. If you hate me, I don't care. Life goes on with or without you."

Until last July, Jenny and her grandfather had been close. As children, she and her brother spent every weekend at their home where he made them laugh with pranks. But as the police gradually revealed more about how Stanley died, her heart began to harden.

A pivotal moment came when the post-mortem revealed the pellet that killed their son had been a direct hit at point-blank range. There was no ricochet.

Why does she think Grannon lied?

"I don't think he could bear to admit that it was his fault. He wanted to believe it was an accident and so he couldn't bring himself to come to me and say that he was sorry."

Had he done so in the beginning, she says she would have tried to forgive him.

"If he'd shown remorse, it would have meant something. We couldn't understand why he wasn't grieving with us. I kept thinking: 'He'll come and we'll cry together,' but he never came."

She paints a picture of a proud and stubborn man who didn't like to be challenged.

"If Grandad decided something, then that was how it would be done. No questions asked."

What makes Grannon's lack of remorse even harder to understand is that his own son, Andrew, died 16 years ago, aged 40, from a brain aneurysm.

It was to mark what would have been his 55th birthday that Jenny had gone to his house with flowers on that day last year.

"He must know the pain we are going through because he lost his own son," she says.

Andy adds: "Not once have we seen him cry. There's been no emotion. Nothing."

In stark contrast, to hear Andy talk of the loss of his son is almost unbearable.

"We shared a love of football," he says.

"I thought we'd have that for all the years ahead of us. We used to count down the sleeps between football training.

"He was only 4 when he started, and although he was the youngest, he never gave in.
During his team's first tournament he scored four goals. I was so proud I cried.

"I was the happiest dad in the world. I had two beautiful children. I used to tell Stanley every day that I loved him and that he was my best friend. All of that has been taken away from me now. I've lost our future together."

After Stanley's ashes were returned, Jenny placed some of them inside a fabric heart she made in Hull City's colours and tucked it inside a rainbow-coloured teddy bear.

Stanley Bear, as Elsie calls him, goes everywhere with the family. When she squeezes his paw, she can hear her brother's voice, taken from the short film he made of himself on the day he died.

The past year has been an eventful one for the little girl. Thousands of people in Hull, who had seen photographs of her travelling alongside Stanley's coffin on a horse and carriage at his funeral, voted for her to switch on the city's Christmas lights as a way of remembering her brother during her first Christmas without him.

She has also been helping her primary school create a "peace garden" in memory of her brother.

Jenny and Andy, with Andy's sister and brother-in-law, are also campaigning for a change in the law to introduce licences for all air-powered weapons.

At Sheffield Crown Court this week, Grannon was given a final chance to give an account of his actions on that terrible day.

In an unusual move, Justice Lavender briefly adjourned the hearing, after Grannon's barrister agreed it was "time for a straight answer".

For a moment, Jenny and Andy thought they were going to get the truth and that perhaps Grannon would finally break down and show some remorse. But when he returned to the courtroom 20 minutes later, he refused to address the court in person.

"We felt so deflated," says Jenny.

"Seeing him go to jail wasn't a victory. The whole thing is a tragedy. We've lost our son, every day is agonisingly painful, and at a time when we needed the support of all the family, it's been torn apart.

"We used to be really close. We celebrated Christmas and birthdays together. We were always there for each other and now we can't even be in the same room."

Grannon has now begun his prison sentence. And while several members of his family believe he has suffered enough, Andy shrugs.

"He got three years for killing Stanley and four months for having an illegal weapon. He'll be out in 18 months. I think Stanley was worth more than that."