A British truck driver has become the latest person to discover that helping a friend test out the bulletproof vest he's wearing is a good way to lose both your friend and your freedom. Ian Catley, 40, has received a seven-year sentence for manslaughter after admitting that he shot 46-year-old Philip Harper in the chest with a shotgun when his friend asked him to test what he thought was a bulletproof vest, reports the BBC. Police say that instead of protecting Harper, the plastic-lined vest funneled the shotgun spray into the center of his chest, killing him almost instantly, the Daily Mail reports. Catley's lawyer says that the day before the shooting, Harper had gone to the pub wearing his new vest and a SWAT cap and asked around to see if anybody was willing to help him test it.
"You shot Mr. Harper at a distance of less than 20 feet, causing him catastrophic injuries and immediate death," the judge said as he sentenced Catley. "You then, straight away, took him to hospital, but tragically, nothing could be done to save his life." The judge acknowledged that Catley's "remorse is complete and genuine" and said he had no "doubt that the effects of killing your good friend will last with you for the rest of your life," but he added that the risk of death or serious injury must have been "absolutely obvious." Two similar cases in South Carolina and Baltimore last year also resulted in deaths and criminal charges.