A YOUNG man who pulled a blank firing gun out on a group of people by the Skydome in the city centre has escaped going to prison.
Abid Hussain, from Foleshill, confronted the group outside the Spon Gate pub on the morning of New Year’s Day and followng an exchange of words he lifted his jacket to show the pistol in his waistband.
The group fled back into the pub and shortly after the police were called they arrested 20-year-old Hussain in the Canal Basin where they found him in possession of a Brunei 8mm blank-firing pistol which was cocked and with one round in the barrel and another in the magazine.
More blank ammunition was found at the home of Hussain, who had previous convictions of theft and robbery.
Hussain, who had been on remand since January, was sentenced to 12 months in prison suspended for two years after pleading guilty at Warwick Crown Court to possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.
He admitted admitted having the gun but denied taking it out or pointing it, which Prosecutor Martin Liddiard accepted, while Laura Hobson, who was defending Hussain, said a psychiatric report concluded that any further period of custody would be detrimental to his mental health.
She explained that Hussain had lost two family members in quick succession, and then his cousin was shot and killed, ‘and it all built up in his mind and he could not cope with it.’
“There was a background linked to the incident involving his cousin, and threats were made to him and his family,” said Hobson.
“When he found the gun in a park a week or so before this incident he took the opportunity to take it home and to carry it with him so that if anyone threatened him he could show he was not someone to be threatened.”
Miss Hobson added that Hussain, who hopes to train as a gas engineer, was now determined to seek help for his problems and to move on.
Sentencing Hussain and ordering him to take part in a rehabilitation activity, Judge Sylvia de Bertodano told him: “There were some words exchanged and you then showed you had an imitation firearm in your waistband.
“If you show people what looks like a real firearm it can lead to violence, no matter what your intentions.
“I have read about the troubles you had had in the months leading up to that and the problems you have had to deal with. While it’s not an excuse, it is some explanation for what you did.
“But this was an imitation firearm, it was not fired, and the use you made of it was to show it, and you did not take it out of your waistband.
“This has been your first experience of detention, and you have been in custody for four months. Given that, I am going to suspend the sentence. I very much hope we don’t see you again.”