A man who brought to guns to a remote pub in an attempt to protect himself during a simmering feud has been jailed for shooting an innocent man in the arm.

Richard Bowser bought a shotgun and a reactivated pistol in the weeks before he travelled to the Tan Hill Inn with his wife for a night out.

The 46-year-old violently lashed out against staff and customers inside the remote pub after he was unable to settle his bar bill when the card reader failed.

Teesside Crown Court heard how Bowser became enraged and CCTV showed him slapping the bar manager before assaulting several people as they tried to force him out of the pub.

Darlington and Stockton Times: The damaged door at the Tan Hill Inn where Richard Bowser fired the handgunThe damaged door at the Tan Hill Inn where Richard Bowser fired the handgun (Image: Graeme Hetherington)

Jurors watched as Bowser returned to his glamping pod while staff locked down the pub to protect customers while they waited for police to arrive.

However, the brother-in-law of one of the men assaulted inside the pub went looking for Bowser and was confronted by the burly defendant before he was followed to the toilet block.

Bowser then held the gun to Lee Jackson’s head and pulled the trigger but the chamber was empty.

Mr Jackson locked himself inside a neighbouring bunkhouse before Bowser fired the pistol four times through the door – leaving the victim with a bullet lodged in his arm.

Christine Egerton, prosecuting, said Bowser was cleared of two charges of attempted murder but convicted of wounding with intent following his trial.

Bowser was also convicted of possessing firearms with the intent to endanger life. He had previously admitted assault and possession of firearms as a result of the incident last summer.

Ms Egerton told the court that Bowser has previous convictions for violence and weapons offences, including possession of a machete.

Darlington and Stockton Times: The glamping pod where Richard Bowser was staying at the Tan Hill InnThe glamping pod where Richard Bowser was staying at the Tan Hill Inn (Image: Graeme Hetherington)

Alistair MacDonald KC, representing Bowser, told the court that his client has requested that his family did not attend the sentencing hearing.

Dealing with the wounding with intent conviction, he said: "There was no suggestion of planning."

The barrister says Bowser maintains that none of the weapons were loaded when he travelled from his home to the remote pub, located high on the Pennines, on July 21 last year.

Mr MacDonald said Bowser was ashamed of his behaviour inside the bar where he assaulted staff and customers following problems settling his bar bill.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Richard Bowser was given a 23-year sentenceRichard Bowser was given a 23-year sentence (Image: North Yorkshire Police)

He said the firearms incidents would not have occurred if Mr Jackson had not tried to confront his client following the violence inside the pub.

Judge Howard Crowson said: “You put the revolver to his head and pulled the trigger an action which required you first to have cocked the hammer.

“That he laughed was not an insult but an expression of relief and as you began to fiddle with revolver, he saw his opportunity and quickly opened the door to bedroom 9 closing it behind him and bracing himself against it.

"Outside you quickly loaded the revolver with four bulleted cartridges and discharged then through the door with the consequences that I have already described before walking calmly back to your accommodation where you took out the shorted shotgun and discharged it to the sky."

The 46-year-old, of Worcester Place, Bishop Auckland, was sentenced to a total of 23 years - 19 years in custody with an extended licence period of four years.