Bus passenger shocked by gun

AN Ipswich bus passenger saw a drunk point a gun in the face of another traveller. The woman told police she saw two men sitting next to one another on the bus who had “clearly been drinking” and one had been swearing at the other before the incident escalated on the number 12 bus in Ancaster Road.

AN Ipswich bus passenger saw a drunk point a gun in the face of another traveller. The woman told police she saw two men sitting next to one another on the bus who had “clearly been drinking” and one had been swearing at the other before the incident escalated on the number 12 bus in Ancaster Road.

Matthew Gowen, prosecuting at Ipswich Crown Court, said Gary Fulcher, 45, had accused his friend of talking about him then he pulled a fake black pistol from his trouser pocket and pointed it at the man's face.

The witness told police the victim did not look surprised and walked off the bus as it stopped.

Fulcher, of Curriers Lane who has previous convictions for dissimilar matters said it was a joke and he had not meant any harm.

He pleaded guilty to using threatening behaviour and to possessing an imitation firearm on March 12 this year.

Lynne Shirley, mitigating, said her client had a collection of imitation weapons which had now been dismantled.

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She said: “This was a joke that went horribly wrong. He is an alcoholic and he was drunk at the time.”

Miss Shirley explained that Fulcher started drinking when he was just nine-years-old and had suffered with his physical and mental health following years of alcohol abuse.

She said Fulcher was “extremely remorseful” and understood how a member of the public had misinterpreted the men's “high jinks in high spirits.”

She added that Fulcher was the full-time carer of his elderly mother.

Judge John Holt said: “These are serious offences, the pistol looks very real and a member of the public seeing it would be very shocked and worried.”

However he added that because Fulcher had not intended to cause distress and because of his responsibility as a carer he would suspend the prison term.

Fulcher was sentenced to 32 weeks in prison but the term was suspended for 12 months.

He was also placed on probation supervision for 12 months.