Action 'highly unlikely' over Ashley Cole air gun incident

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The Independent Online

Chelsea full-back Ashley Cole will escape prosecution for shooting a work placement student with an air gun at the club's training ground.

Police sources said officers were "highly unlikely" to pursue investigations any further after contacting the Premier League club.

Tom Cowan, 21, was accidentally hit by a pellet from a .22 air gun brought into the training ground by Cole on February 20.

But the sports science student has no plans to press charges against the ex-husband of X Factor judge Cheryl.

The decision comes after Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti angrily hit out at calls for Cole to be disciplined, adding: "What do we have to do now - kill him?"

Surrey Police received no formal complaints despite Cole breaking club rules which ban weapons from Chelsea's training ground.

Mr Cowan, who is on a one-year work placement at Chelsea, was hit in the side by a lead pellet at the training ground in Cobham.

Chelsea's medical staff reportedly treated the bleeding wound and Mr Cowan did not require hospital treatment.

The club vowed to take "appropriate action".

It is not the first time 30-year-old Cole's behaviour has landed him in trouble, with the left-back going through a rocky split from his ex-wife amid claims that he had been unfaithful.

He was also investigated by club officials after allegations arising from a pre-season US tour in 2009.

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