Toy gun threat at off-licence

Liverpool Crown Court

Liverpool Crown Court

A young man who threatened his local off-licence owner with a toy gun has been jailed.

Jack Blower produced the imitation firearm after losing his temper when shopkeeper Raj Patel declined his request for “tick”.

The 25-year-old pointed the gun at Mr Patel and cocked it and made abusive remarks including a racist comment and threatened to shoot him in the head, said Helen Richardson, prosecuting.

A customer, who described Mr Patel as looking “petrified”, then had the weapon pointed at him before Blower left.

Miss Richardson said Mr Patel later said he had not believed it was a real gun and had not taken the matter seriously. He did not want a restraining order keeping Blower away from the premises, Dave’s off-licence in Spa Road, Atherton, as Blower’s sister had assured him he would not cause further trouble.

Blower, of Oxford Street, Leigh, pleaded guilty to possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear and also admitted being in breach of a suspended prison sentence imposed for battery last year. He was jailed for 10 months for the firearm offence and six weeks of his suspended sentence was activated to run consecutively.

Miss Richardson told Liverpool Crown Court that after being refused credit Blower referred to having an item in his coat pocket.

He told Mr Patel: “I’m going to have your plate on a plate” and despite Mr Patel trying to calm him down he then produced the gun from his waistband and after cocking it made further threats.

When interviewed by officers 23 Blower said he had been drunk and the incident happened after he was refused “tick.” He said he would never harm Mr Patel and pointed out he had not tried to steal anything. The court was told he has committed 29 previous offences but this offence represented an escalation in offending.

Phil Astbury, defending, said that Blower recognises alcohol is a problem in his life and is classed a vulnerable prisoner. The toy had not been a very convincing firearm, he added.