Men jailed for 'joke' with fake gun

TWO MEN who terrorised two teenagers by pulling up in a car beside them and pointing an imitation handgun at them “for a laugh” have been given jail sentences totalling six years.

Jane Hunt

TWO MEN who terrorised two teenagers by pulling up in a car beside them and pointing an imitation handgun at them “for a laugh” have been given jail sentences totalling six years.

On the first occasion they pulled up alongside a 13-year-old boy who was walking along Chalkstone Way in Haverhill and after asking him if he had anything for them one of them had produced what appeared to be a handgun and threatened to “put a bullet” in the boy's head.

The frightened boy had handed over his mobile phone and had been “very badly affected” by the incident, said Godfried Duah, prosecuting.


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He said since it happened the boy had regularly suffered nightmares and insisted on going to bed with weapons under his pillow.

On the same evening Thomas Spinks, 22 and Nathaniel Tume, 19 had also driven up alongside a 17-year-old youth in Strasburg Square in Haverhill and asked him for some “green” which the youth took to mean cannabis.

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He said he hadn't got any and then saw one of the men pass an object which turned out to be an imitation handgun to the other man and ran off.

Mr Duah said the imitation handgun had not been recovered.

Spinks, of Grooms Lane, Silver End, Braintree and Tume, of Cangle Junction, Haverhill admitted robbery and attempted robbery.

Tume, who also admitted possessing an imitation firearm, was sentenced to two years and eight months in a young offenders' institution and Spinks was jailed for three years and four months.

Sentencing the men Judge Philip Clegg described what they had done as a “terrifying prank” and said they had acted in the way they did for “a bit of a laugh” to see how the youths reacted when the gun was pointed at them.

Richard Potts for Spinks said the imitation firearm was in fact a cigarette lighter but accepted that the victims had been convinced they were faced with a real gun.

He said the offences were obviously very serious but said they had been borne out of “high jinks”.

Steven Dyble for Tume said there was some dispute between the defendants as to who had possession of the weapon.

He said the offences hadn't been committed for gain but for “a bit of a laugh”. “They thought it would be fun to seen how fast people would run if they were frightened,” said Mr Dyble.

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