Jail for man who made threats with fake gun

Oliver McCarthy
Oliver McCarthy
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A man who left two men terrified when he tapped a gun on their car window has been jailed for 22 months.

Oliver McCarthy circled the car making threats with a “realistic” black BB gun as the two men called 999, Preston Crown Court heard.

The incident happened on a Preston street following a disagreement between a group of friends, in which two men had arrived at the front door of a house McCarthy was in.

As they retreated back to their car, he armed himself with an imitation firearm and walked around the car making threats - some of which were caught on a 999 call recording.

McCarthy, 26, of Warrington Road, Platt Bridge, Wigan, denied possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear on May 9 last year, but was convicted by a jury.

The court heard he had previous convictions for common assaults, threatening behaviour, robbery, affray, criminal damage, and possessing an offensive weapon, including another imitation firearm.

Judge Robert Altham said: “The men were persistent to say the least in arriving at the scene.

“But what happened thereafter was in no way excusable on your part. They had retreated into a car parked outside. You took out an imitation firearm - a relatively realistic looking firearm which was intended by you to fear violence would be used against them.

“The circumstances of a person seated in a car with another man stalking around that car with a firearm in a heated and volatile situation is a very frightening situation to be in. Their fear would have been very real.

“In those circumstance this is clearly a serious use of an imitation firearm.

“One would hope, notwithstanding a difficult start to life, you are not someone who is set out to be a career criminal, but your previous offending includes possession of an offensive weapon and possession of an imitation firearm and those matters cannot be overlooked.”

Defending, Gordon Hennall said McCarthy, who grew up in London, had been in stable employment working as a manager of a sofa manufacturing firm.