Practical joke backfires for cabinet maker

Darlington and Stockton Times: Teesside Combined Court Centre (including the crown court), Middlesbrough Teesside Combined Court Centre (including the crown court), Middlesbrough

A MAN who terrified a shopper and a security guard by pointing an intimation firearm at them has been jailed for 16 months.

The victims mistook the BB gun Thomas Boyne was carrying for a loaded shotgun.

Teesside Crown Court heard how Boyne and his co-accused Jake Alderson had been engaged in a practical joke that went horribly wrong.

Boyne - who at the age of 22 has already served custodial sentences for a variety of offences including aggravated racial harassment, handling stolen goods, robbery and failing to surrender – threatened a shopper at Tesco supermarket, in Thirsk, North Yorkshire, after he returned to his vehicle with his girlfriend.

Michael Greenhalgh, prosecuting, said Boyne got out of a white transit van driven by Alderson, opened the man’s car door and pointed the gun at his head, telling him to get out.

He then slammed the door shut and returned to the van laughing.

Forty-five minutes later Boyne approached a security guard who was locking up a petrol station on the supermarket site and began abusing him after being told he was barred.

He told the victim he would burn his car and after returning to the van pointed what the man thought was a shotgun at him as the duo drove off.

The van was later stopped by police and two BB gun pellets were found, although the weapon itself was not recovered.

Dan Cordey, for Boyne, of Topcliffe Road, Sowerby, Thirsk, who admitted two counts of possessing an intimation firearm on December 30 last year, said: “It was a very stupid joke gone wrong.”

Alderson, meanwhile, a self-employed cabinet maker and painter and decorator, of Green Lane East, Sowerby, was said to be of low risk of re-offending and only had a previous caution to his name. He admitted one count of the same charge.

The judge, Recorder William Lowe jailed Boyne for 16 months. Alderson received a 12 month jail sentence, suspended for two years, 240 hours unpaid work and a six-month long electronically-tagged curfew order.

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