A DRINKER has been jailed for firing a ball bearing gun in a busy pub – hitting two customers and scaring others.
Derby Crown Court heard that Wayne Robinson, of High Street, Newhall, squabbled with a man in the bar and walked out, only to return with the imitation firearm and ask: “Have you got a problem?”
He then fired it at the man “who felt a sharp pain in the chest, turned and felt another pain to the head,” said Sarah Slater, prosecuting.
Another ball bearing ricocheted and struck an 81-year-old man.
The 43-year-old was handed a 20-month prison sentence after admitting having an imitation firearm on March 9, assault causing actual bodily harm and common assault at a pub near Ripley.
Judge John Burgess told him: “What you did was really dreadful. You got into some sort of disagreement and some tension with this other man.
“You returned after 20 to 25 minutes with a BB gun. It is extremely realistic. People thought it was the real thing.
“If those ball bearings had hit him in the face or eye you could have blinded him.
“Happily the physical wounds would soon heal but the psychological trauma will be there for a considerable time.”
In a statement, the victim said he still suffers flashbacks, his sleep was disturbed and he went to his family doctor who sent him for counselling.
Because he was unable to work for a time, he has lost more than £8,000 in earnings.
“What is he capable of? I still find it difficult to believe what he did. If it was a real gun, I would be dead,” he added.
Miss Slater said Robinson returned to the pub and fired the gun up to 15 times.
“Lots of people thought that was a real gun. Lots of people were screaming,” she said.
When Robinson was arrested, he said his ‘recollection was blurred by the amount of alcohol he had taken’.
Justin Ablott, defending, said Robinson had witnessed the killing of his mother’s partner while a child and had great problems in coming to terms with that tragedy.
He said: “In some ways he is a vulnerable man who is frightened, particularly in a situation of conflict.”