Terrified father-of-three had gun pointed at his head by would-be robber (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Terrified father-of-three had gun pointed at his head by would-be robber
A TERRIFIED householder was pinned against a wall and had a pistol pointed to his head after an intruder forced his way into his home in the early hours.
Teesside Crown Court heard that Stephen Stewart demanded money and shouted at the frightened father-of-three: "I'll shoot you, I'll kill you."
The victim's six-year-old daughter was woken by the noise, and after going downstairs to see what was happening, screamed as she saw her father being threatened.
Stewart - who knew the householder and his partner - finally fled empty-handed but returned several hours later and shouted from outside: "I want to say I'm sorry."
The 28-year-old was jailed for six years after he admitted charges of attempted robbery, possessing an imitation firearm and making threats to kill.
His lawyer, Peter Wishlade, told the court: "He just does stupid things when he is drunk or takes other substances - amphetamine or cocaine.
"The gun looked real and would have terrified anyone who saw it. He realised what he had done was unacceptable and tried to redeem himself by apologising."
The court heard that the householder was on his computer while his girlfriend was asleep on the sofa when Stewart turned up at 12.50am on March 28.
After getting into the three-bed semi and producing the air pistol from his trousers, he demanded: "Give me the f***ing money. Give me some money."
Stewart fled from the scene but was arrested several hours later when he returned to apologise and a police helicopter had been drafted in to search.
Judge Peter Armstrong told him: "It must have been a frightening sight, having such a weapon pointed at them. The traumatic effects were great on them.
"You returned to the property to apologise for what you had done. Perhaps by then you had sobered up and realised the seriousness of your actions."
Stewart, of Lambton Road, Stockton, was jailed for 18 weeks in July - his first prison sentence - for offences of assault and damage from January.