Played ‘prank’ on ex-girlfriend with toy gun

A man who entered his ex-girlfriend’s house with a toy gun has received a suspended sentence.

Dylan Smyth, of Glenview Street, pleaded guilty to three charges of common assault and making a threat to kill.

The charges relate to an incident on August 14th, last year.

A remaining charge of possession of an imitation firearm was left on the books not to be proceeded with.

Derry Crown Court heard the injured party was in her Cecilia’s Walk home with her two young children and two friends.

She looked out a window and saw Smyth, her ex-partner and father of her children, walking in the direction of her home with a black gun in his hand.

The woman was ‘scared’ and ran to lock the front door of her home.

However, before she could do this 23-year-old Smyth let himself in.

He pulled a bandanna over his face and pointed the gun at his ex-girlfriend’s head without saying anything.

The injured party ran to her children and friends and they attempted to block the living room door.

Smyth pushed his way in again and pointed the gun at his ex and her friends.

All three women noticed that there was blood over the defendants face and on his trousers. They also noticed that he was highly intoxicated.

He threw the gun, which later transpired to be a toy gun, out of a window and left the property a short time later.

Smyth was arrested at his home and denied involvement in the incident.

The court heard that police seized CCTV footage from the scene which showed a man walking towards the injured party’s house with a gun.

It was revealed Smyth has a criminal record and has previous convictions for assault, disorderly behaviour and intimidation.

The court also heard that he has spent over eight months on remand in this case.

Defence counsel, Sean Doherty, told the court his client was highly intoxicated at the time and this was an ‘ill considered prank.

He added there was no ill feeling between Smyth and the injured party.

The barrister said that once the 23-year-old realised his ex-girlfriend and her friends were ‘freaked out’ he threw the toy gun out the window and left.

Mr. Doherty told the court Smyth had been at a party and had been hit over the head with this toy gun.

He said the defendant then decided to ‘play this prank’ with the intention of scaring his ex.

The barrister added Smyth has used his time in custody to seek treatment for addiction and there has been a ‘massive improvement in his attitude.’

Passing sentence, Judge Philip Babington said that ‘from a distance no one knew if the gun was real or not. In fact, it turned out to be a toy, but what would have happened if a police patrol came upon you and acted properly.’

He said the assaults were of a domestic nature as he assaulted his ex-girlfriend in front of their two children.

However, the judge accepted ‘this was a short lived episode and you have already served the equivalent of an 18 month sentence as you have been kept on remand because your ex-girlfriend and her friends were frightened of you.’

The judge suspended a nine month sentence for two years. He also imposed a Restraining Order for five years.

This bans Smyth from any contact with the injured party by phone, text, social media, email or any other form.