A student at Wolverhampton University who shot three children with an airgun on their way home from school has walked free from court.
Rikesh Patel fired pellets at a 12-year-old girl from his accommodation at Compton Park, Compton Road West, hitting her in the leg and leaving a bruise.
Two weeks later, he shot two 14-year-old boys in the head and neck.
Both suffered superficial injuries.
After hearing that Patel would be given a suspended sentence, a relative of one of the boys told the judge: "Let's hope we don't have another Cumbria."
The man, who did not give his name, later described the sentence as a "joke" and said it was "ridiculous" that Patel had walked free.
One of the boys had felt a sharp pain and thought a stone had been thrown at him, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard yesterday.
Judge Martin Walsh told 20-year-old Patel he could have blinded the boys.
Police were called to the scene of the shooting and a porter said he believed Patel had an airgun. His room was searched and police found the weapon and pellets.
Patel admitted three charges of assault on April 28 and May 6.
The two injured boys are pupils at St Edmund's School, on the same road as the campus, while the girl was at St Peter's School.
Mr Dean Kershaw, defending, said Patel, who was studying to be an accountant, had since been expelled by the university. He was a bright student with four A-Levels, but behaved like a "buffoon and an idiot".
Judge Martin Walsh said: "The injuries, thankfully, were not severe, but could have been catastrophic."
Both boys returned to school the morning after the attack.Patel was given three months' custody, suspended for two years, and ordered to do 180 hours of unpaid work.
He was given a curfew for four months from 7pm to 7am.