Jailed for pointing imitation gun at teens

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A man who pointed an imitation firearm at two teenage boys has been jailed for a total of 16 months.

Gary Eamon McClintock, of Dundrean Park, pleaded guilty to possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.

He also admitted making threats to kill on November 29, 2013.

Derry Crown Court heard that a group of teenage boys were walking to shops in Shantallow when they were approached by McClintock, who was intoxicated.

He asked for a cigarette and when he was told they didn’t smoke, produced a silver hand gun from his pocket.

The court was told the 27-year-old pointed the imitation gun at a 15-year-old boy’s head.

He thought the gun was real, saw McClintock’s finger on the trigger and ‘thought he was dead’.

The teenager ran home and police were called after he told his mother what had happened.

A second group of teenage boys encountered McClintock who again ‘asked for fags’.

He then produced the hand gun and pointed at the chest of one of the boys.

The court heard the 27-year-old was arrested the following day. His home was searched and a silver revolver was found.

It later transpired this was a cigarette lighter, however it was found to closely resemble a hand gun.

During police interview, McClintock said he had been drinking in his mother’s house on the night.

The 27-year-old denied asking the teenagers for cigarettes and claimed the cigarette lighter belonged to his father, but he didn’t take it out of the house.

The court was told the defendant has 69 previous convictions, including convictions for assault, possessing an offensive weapon and making a threat to kill.

He is also in breach of four suspended sentences.

Passing sentence, Judge Philip Babington said ‘It is quite clear that the firearm is an imitation, but I take into account it was a very good imitation which was pointed at two youths who were terrified and ran for what they thought was their lives’.

He said this is ‘completely unacceptable behaviour in our society’ and ‘young people should be able to walk about the streets of this city without having what they consider to be a gun pointed at them’.

The judge imposed a determinate sentence of 16 months, half of which will be spent in custody and half on licence.