A PROPERTY developer feared for his life when a man in a ‘drunken rage’ over the noise he had been making pointed a pistol at him and threatened to shoot him.
But as a ‘fight or flight’ reaction kicked in, he bravely punched 39-year-old gunman Marcin Pawlak to the face and wrested the pistol from him, a judge has heard.
Pawlak, of Brunswick Street, Leamington, was jailed for 19 months after pleading guilty at Warwick Crown Court to possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.
Prosecutor Andrew Wilkins said in September last year property developer Herminder Cheema went to the rear of a house in Brunswick Street to remove some rubbish.
As he was doing so, Pawlak came out of the rear gate of the neighbouring property and remarked: “You dirty people.”
He was holding a black pistol which he raised and pointed at Mr Cheema, threatening: “I will shoot you.”
Mr Wilkins said: “Mr Cheema feared it was a genuine firearm, and he punched the defendant in the face and managed to wrestle it from him and throw it away.”
And as Pawlak fled back into his home, the police were called and he was arrested shortly afterwards.
When he was interviewed he said he had being doing some target shooting in the back garden when he heard people shouting, so had gone to see what was happening.
The pistol appeared to be a semi-automatic 9mm pistol, but was in fact a CO2-powered air pistol replica – although it discharged pellets with sufficient force to put it into the category of being a firearm, pointed out Mr Wilkins.
He added Mr Cheema, who had an injury to his hand from punching Pawlak, said he genuinely believed he was going to be shot, and now felt scared to go back to the house.
Philip Vollans, defending, said Pawlak was supporting his partner who had recently been taken ill and had been fainting and collapsing, although the reason for that had not yet been established.
Pawlak was about to move into a flat with her, and if he was jailed he would not be able to support her and she would not be able to afford the flat herself.
And of the incident, Mr Vollans added: “His alcohol abuse at the time was significant but he has, of his own volition as a consequence of this offence, endeavoured to tackle the problem.”
Jailing Pawlak, Judge Barry Berlin told him: “You had a loaded air pistol which looked like a true firearm and caused Mr Cheema to fear unlawful violence.
“This is an extremely serious event, and you present a risk to the public. Anybody who does such a thing in drink must expect an immediate sentence.”