A MAN pushed a gun out of his flat window and fired - because there were people outside throwing missiles at his property and hurling abuse at him.
It turned out they were a group of children aged between 11 and 13 but defendant Ricky John Connon did not know that, Mold Crown Court was told.
He was nervous after he had previously been attacked, had part of his ear bitten off during an aggravated burglary in 2004 and completely over-reacted, the court heard.
Connon, 29, of Fieldside Court, Main Road, Broughton, admitted possessing a firearm, a Webley Stingray air rifle on March 2 with intent to cause people to believe unlawful violence would be used against them.
But he escaped an immediate prison sentence.
Judge John Rogers QC gave him a 40 week prison sentence, suspended for two years, with two years supervision.
“You ought to understand that this being the second time that you have been in possession of what is essentially a firearm, it is impossible to deal with you other then by imposing a prison sentence,” the judge told him.
“There is just no other choice. The only matter I have to decide is whether the sentence can be suspended.”
"In view of your guilty plea, immediate apology and provocation, I propose to do that."
Elen Owen, prosecuting, told how it was 8 p.m. that a group of boys were outside the defendant's home address shouting abuse and hurling missiles at his home.
But they became aware that he had armed himself with a gun which he stuck out of an open window, pointed it slightly upwards and the boys all ran away.
"As they did so they heard three gun shots," she explained.
The police were called by a youth worker at a local youth club, officers were invited into his flat and he said that he had fired an air rifle because there were people outside throwing stones, shouting abuse and intimidating him.
He claimed that he had only fired once and that there was no pellet in the barrel - and there was no evidence that there was.
Connon had been cautioned in April 1998 for carrying an air weapon in a public place, she said.
Adrian Evans, defending, said his client was in his own home, minding his own business when he realised there were several people outside.
It was dark, he did not realise they were children and he accepted he reacted instinctively by picking up the air rifle in order to scare them off. "That was the sole reason he did it," Mr Evans explained.
Back in 2004 he had been the victim of an aggravated burglary where part of his ear had been bitten off and he needed plastic surgery.
He believed that his premises were under attack again and his previous experience, combined with his depression, caused him to over-react, he said.
But he specifically checked that the weapon was not loaded before he used it, he did it to scare those outside away, and it had the desired effect.
Connon wished to apologised for his impulsive behaviour, was deeply sorry, and was not aware that those outside were youths. Supervision could tackle his thinking skills, said Mr Evans.