A YOUNG Coventry man put a gun to the head of a girl who had been involved in an argument with his girlfriend – and then fired at her as he drove away.
Although Samuel Roberts’s terrified victim did not realise, it was only a Co2-powered BB replica of a Walther PPK pistol, Coventry Crown Court heard.
Roberts had pleaded guilty to possessing the imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, but denied common assault, blaming his girlfriend for firing the gun.
But on the day he was to stand trial, he finally pleaded guilty to the assault charge, accepting he had fired it at her.
Roberts (20) of Manhattan Way, Tile Hill, Coventry, was jailed for 18 months by Judge Philip Gregory, who also ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the gun.
Prosecutor James Keeley said that in June last year the 16-year-old girl ‘had a falling-out’ with Roberts’s girlfriend, and he sent her a text asking her to meet him.
She agreed, and was waiting with two friends by some shops in Holyhead Road when Roberts turn up in his car with his girlfriend and a male friend.
But an argument again broke out between the two girls.
“The defendant produced what she believed was a handgun and held it to her head and instructed her to say sorry. She pushed the gun away and began to panic.”
Mr Keeley said Roberts repeated his demand, and when she refused, he threatened: “Watch what happens to your house now.”
As he pulled away he fired between five and seven shots from the car, one of which hit the girl and another a chip shop shutter.
When Roberts was arrested he accepted he had taken the gun from the car and pointed it at her, but said it was done as a joke. He denied putting it to her head or that it had been fired by him or anyone else.
Mr Keeley said a woman in January was cleaning a courtesy car when she found a black handgun, which turned out to be a Co2-powered BB replica Walther PPK, wedged between the seats, and alerted the police.
Roberts had previously leased the car, and had phoned the company asking if he had left his gun in it, but they did not find it at that time, and it had since been hired by two other customers.
Roberts, who had no previous convictions, was interviewed again, and this time he accepted the gun had been fired, but blamed his girlfriend for doing so.
Arguing for a suspended sentence, his barrister Justin Jarmola said: “It was a flash of anger by a very young and very naïve and immature young man.”
Mr Jarmola added that since the incident he has secured employment and formed a stable relationship, with twins due.
Jailing Roberts, Judge Gregory told him: “Anybody who takes out onto the street an imitation firearm with the intent to cause people to believe it’s real, and to be frightened by it, will lose their liberty.”