Police have renewed an appeal for witnesses after a man walking home from a night out in Ilfracombe was hospitalised with three air rifle pellets lodged in his body.

The victim in his 40s was shot at by unknown assailants in the Oxford Grove area at around 2.30am on Sunday.

He sustained wounds to his chest, abdomen and hands that were serious enough to keep him in hospital until Monday.

DC Brad Stow, investigating, said the wounds could have had the potential to be life-changing and he was fortunate they were not more serious.

No arrests have been made but he said police were following up on names they had been given and would be reviewing CCTV footage.

North Devon Inspector Paul Searle said it was an isolated incident and appeared to have no connection to anything else – the man had simply been an innocent victim.

He said: “We are doing our best to get to the bottom of it and we are relying on members of the public to come forward.

“It’s a worrying incident but it is isolated. All efforts are being made to support the victim.”

He urged anyone with information to call 101 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111, quoting log 149 of September 30.