”I appreciate that is insignificant compared to the loss Peter’s family will have to deal with for the rest of their lives, and any relief I feel for myself is tempered by the knowledge of the loss that will be with them forever.”

After sentencing on Thursday, North Wales Police said Mr Colwell’s death was ”totally avoidable”.

The man who led the investigation, Detective Chief Inspector Gerwyn Thomas, hit out at both Wilson and Fitzsimons: ”This case demonstrates the catastrophic consequences that can follow when people show an arrogant, casual disregard for basic gun safety and the privilege afforded them of holding a gun licence.”

He added: ”Those issued with gun licences for their work or for their leisure activities have a great responsibility to adhere to the strict licence conditions at all times for their own safety and the safety of others.”

”These men have rightly been given prison sentences and I hope they will spend the time to reflect on their most irresponsible behaviour.”