A MAN found himself staring down the barrel of a gun after a neighbour dispute in South Tyneside got out of hand.
Steven Ashby told his victim he had done jail time for killing people and could “drop someone at 100 yards”, Durham Crown Court heard.
Prosecutor Paul Newcombe said: “The victims, Scott Kingsbury and his partner Rebecca Dailey, lived in a flat underneath the defendant in Ashley Road, South Shields.
“There had been some history, but on April 11, Ashby called Mr Kingsbury to a communal fence, saying he had something to show him.
“Ashby pushed a Feinwerkbau Sport air rifle towards Mr Kingsbury, telling him he was a para who had done time for killing people.
“Mr Kingsbury said he was frightened, not least because he didn’t know if the gun was loaded.
“He was also concerned his partner could be injured.”
The court heard Ashby walked away from the fence and returned with another air rifle.
“This was a Norconia B2,” said Mr Newcombe. “Ashby withdrew from the fence again, he appeared very drunk.
“He then burst into tears and told Mr Kingsbury his partner was going to leave him.
“Later that evening Mr Kingsbury heard shouts of ‘I am going to kill you’ coming from upstairs, although he didn’t inquire to whom the shouts were directed.”
Ashby, 34, of Heaton Gardens, South Shields, pleaded not guilty to possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.
He admitted the alternative charge of affray.
Jane Foley, defending, said: “Mr Ashby has very limited previous convictions.
“He and his partner are both taking steps to tackle their drinking.
“They no longer live in the flat where this happened, so it will not happen again.”
Judge Robert Adams sentenced Ashby to 15 months in prison, suspended for 12 months, a 12-month supervision order, 150 hours community work, and £200 costs.
The judge told him: “Pointing a gun at someone, loaded or not, is clearly a very serious matter.
“On the other hand, you are lightly convicted, have certainly never killed anyone, and you have a good work ethic.”