Young Southam man pleads guilty after dressing like an armed robber and carrying imitation firearm - The Leamington Observer

Young Southam man pleads guilty after dressing like an armed robber and carrying imitation firearm

Leamington Editorial 8th Dec, 2020   0

A SOUTH man carrying what appeared to be a sawn-off shotgun has admitted he meant to spark fear.

Judge Peter Cooke told defendant Isaac James how dangerous it might have been if an armed unit had been called to the scene.

The 21-year-old of Southam, pleaded guilty to possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.

He was given a three-year community order, with a rehabilitation activity for 30 days and a requirement for mental health treatment.

In March, police were alerted by James’s behaviour in Stratford, and found him in Baker Avenue.

The defendant was kitted out in black with his hood up and a black face mask and gloves. His appearance was described as intimidating.

Officers searching him pulled out two metal poles taped together with a plastic handle, wrapped in a plastic bag from under his coat.

When questioned, James accepted the item was there ‘to threaten and to give the impression it was a firearm’.

Nick Devine, defending, pointed out James, who Judge Cooke had said at a previous hearing has ‘quite severe Asperger’s not helped by his consumption of cannabis,’ has mental health difficulties, for which he was now receiving medication.

“He had no previous convictions, but there had been difficulties between him and his mother. Clearly at the time he was acting under a number of paranoid delusions.”

Judge Cooke remarked: “I trust it has been pressed on him in no uncertain terms that to go around dressed like an armed robber, with every appearance of having a sawn-off shotgun, just how dangerous it might have been for him.

“It is just the sort of scenario which leads to an armed police unit being called out, and not knowing what it was going to face.”

But the judge said he intended to deal with James in the way suggested in both the pre-sentence and psychiatric reports.

He added: “The offence is a very serious one, and it’s a very stupid and dangerous way to have conducted yourself.

“I want to ensure that you are not going to behave in a silly way like this again in the future. This [order] is as much about helping you as anything else.”


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