A FORMER boyfriend fired a fake gun at his ex-girlfriend’s door because he thought she was with another man.
Neil Hamilton shot pellets from an air pistol at Samantha Smith’s home after turning up drunk on June 28 last year.
Newcastle Crown Court heard the 32-year-old had accused his ex of “partying” with or seeing other men.
When Miss Smith, who had simply been enjoying a takeaway meal with her family, denied the claims, Hamilton fired.
Prosecutor Paul Rowland told the court: “He started to shout and swear at her and accused her of partying or having relationships with other men.
“She tried to explain she hadn’t been partying and he produced an air rifle from his jacket. She said the gun was pointed towards her legs.”
The court heard Hamilton fired the weapon when Miss Smith went back inside her home.
Mr Rowland added: “She was very frightened and in fear for her life.”
Hamilton, of Masefield Drive, South Shields, admitted possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.
He has served more than six months in custody on remand.
Mr Recorder Euan Duff sentenced him to 18 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years with supervision.
The judge told him: “Anyone who uses even an imitation firearm must understand custody will follow and custody has followed for you.”
Jane Foley, defending, said Hamilton was grieving after a bereavement and had turned to drink to help him cope.
She said: “It was an air weapon he took with him in fear that his partner Miss Smith would be with another individual.
“His suspicions were unfounded, but that was why he took the air weapon with him.
“According to him, this individual had a history of violence.”
The court heard Hamilton has previous convictions, but none for domestic violence or weapons.