An alcoholic who pulled out a gun and in front of three young children threatened to ‘smoke’ another man has escaped an immediate jail term.
Jason Fielding, aged 43, waved the unloaded Beretta air pistol at Liam Kelly who was with his three cousins – two aged 11 and one aged just five.
Sheffield Crown Court heard Fielding was outside his home on September 29 when an altercation broke out between him and Mr Kelly.
Fielding went into his home and shut the door, but became angry when Mr Kelly remained outside, leaning on the garden wall.
The court heard a few minutes later Fielding shouted, ‘Get off my wall or I will smoke you’.
When Mr Kelly refused to move Fielding opened the door, reached behind him, and brought out the gun.
Prosecutor Ian Goldsack said: “Mr Kelly immediately panicked and believed it was a real handgun.
“The male shouted, ‘I’ll shoot you’, so Mr Kelly moved away.
“Mr Kelly turned and fled but then saw red and ran and kicked Fielding’s front door, before throwing himself at the defendant.”
The men grappled and punches were delivered.
Witness Kirsty Girman, who was with Mr Kelly, told police his face froze when he saw the gun and he was ‘scared’.
“She couldn’t believe Fielding had pulled out a gun when children were present,” said Mr Goldsack.
Police arrived at the address in Dearne Road, Bolton Upon Dearne, at 9pm and, when arrested, Fielding told the officer: “I’ve got Masonic connections and you will lose your job.”
He was holding a bottle of vodka which was three quarters empty and, when searched, officers also found a Kinder Egg containing a gram of cannabis. They found the pistol in a drawer in his bedside table, air rifle pellets, gas canisters and targets. He admitted affray.
James Gould, defending, said Fielding had mental health issues and substance and alcohol addictions and his problems were ‘best treated in the community’.
Judge Julian Goose QC said Fielding had been having problems with local youths in the run-up to the incident and, on the day, had rung police three times in tears. He gave Fielding a 12-month jail term, suspended for two years.