South Shields man jailed for using imitation gun in street confrontation

Darren Lockyer is arrested by armed police in Newmarket Walk, South Shields.

Darren Lockyer is arrested by armed police in Newmarket Walk, South Shields.

A South Shields man has been jailed after pulling an imitation gun from his waistband while confronting a man in the street.

Darren Lockyer walked up to the man near the rear lane of Westoe Road in South Shields and asked him "where's your gun then?"

Armed police in Newmarket Walk, South Shields.

Armed police in Newmarket Walk, South Shields.

The 37-year-old lifted his t-shirt and revealed what the victim believed to be a hand gun before lunging toward him.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how Lockyer took the air gun from his waist band, 1.5 metres from the man, before telling him: "That's the type of person I am."

The man, who was left shocked, contacted the police following the incident at 8.45am on July 25.

Neil Pallister, prosecuting, said: "The victim was in fear for his life, he believed the gun was a real hand gun."

Armed police in Newmarket Walk, South Shields.

Armed police in Newmarket Walk, South Shields.

The court heard how a witness saw the victim jump back and raise his arms as Lockyer pulled out the gun.

Mr Pallister said: "The matter was reported to the police and later that day the police officers searched the defendant's home address."

The air gun was found by police hidden in Lockyer's home under a VHS tape in a child's pram.

Mr Pallister said: "They recovered a black air pistol which an officer describes as a gat gun model J 101.

Darren Lockyer is arrested by armed police in Newmarket Walk, South Shields.

Darren Lockyer is arrested by armed police in Newmarket Walk, South Shields.

"It was hidden, there was no doubt about it."

Mr Pallister told the court how there was a long standing feud between Lockyer and the victim.

The court heard how the victim had previously been in a relationship with Lockyer's partner and had previously burgled her home.

Mr Pallister said: "In this case we are dealing with an air gun. I'm told this type of weapon isn't particularly powerful. The aggravating feature is he pointed it directly at the claimant. There is no suggestion it was loaded at the time."

Armed police in Newmarket Walk, South Shields.

Armed police in Newmarket Walk, South Shields.

Lockyer, of Newmarket Walk, South Shields, admitted possessing an imitation fire arm with intent to cause fear of violence.

Jane Waugh, defending, said Lockyer has suffered from post traumatic stress disorder since he was a teenager.

She said: "He has had mental health problems for most of his life.

"The claimant did burgle the home of his partner and move near to the home of the couple when released from custody.

"Every time they went out they have to see him. It's right to say the police were contacted by the defendant on a number of occasions to report the abuse he was getting on the street.

"This was an imitation gun. He calls it a potato gun, used at fairgrounds to shoot at targets.

Armed police in Newmarket Walk, South Shields.

Armed police in Newmarket Walk, South Shields.

"It was unloaded at the time and no ammunition was found in the house with it.

"He did intend to frighten the victim."

Judge Penny Moreland told Lockyer: "What looked like a hand gun turned out to be an air gun.

"You intended for him to be afraid that violence would be used against him.

"You walked off and the gun was recovered from hidden place under a VHS tape in a child's pram."

Judge Moreland sentenced Lockyer to eight months in prison.

She told him: "You will spend four months in custody and will be released on licence for the remaining four months."

Armed police in Newmarket Walk, South Shields.

Armed police in Newmarket Walk, South Shields.