A pensioner who admitted shooting dead a burglar trying to break into his caravan will not be prosecuted for manslaughter - despite a coroner's verdict that the killing was unlawful.

Caravan dweller Reuben Gregory, 74, fatally wounded Wayne Digby, 48, in the middle of the night in June, 2017 as he and an accomplice tried to break into the primitive caravan Mr Gregory shared with his sister in a wood off the A4 Colnbrook bypass. Mr Gregory shot Mr Digby through the closed door of the caravan before calling the police.

He always insisted he had acted in self-defence.

A wooden mallet, cable ties, a bottle of bleach, a funnel and bolt cutters in a bag were found lying near Mr Digby’s body. Officers also found a plastic bottle full of an accelerant and a tennis ball full of flammable liquid and stuffed with a rag.

Police initially investigating the death on June 12, 2017, arrested Mr Gregory on suspicion of murder but he was later de-arrested and released from custody. He was subsequently prosecuted for having a shotgun without a licence and sentenced to a 10 month term in jail.

But at the recent inquest into Mr Digby's death assistant coroner for Berkshire Ian Wade reopened the whole question. He expressed doubts over Mr Gregory's claim that he had not realised Mr Digby was in the direct line of fire when he discharged the shotgun.

He said: "I conclude that his use of force in the circumstances was grossly disproportionate and therefore self-defence does not apply. It seems to me that what Reuben Gregory did was a deliberate act, an unlawful act - manslaughter."

But today Thames Valley Police revealed no further action would be taken against Mr Gregory.

A brief statement said: "Following a review of the evidence presented at the coroner’s court during the inquest of Wayne Digby, no significant new evidence was identified by Thames Valley Police.

"After consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), the force will not be re-submitting a file to the CPS as there are no grounds to re-review the case."