Armed Sheffield man from Broomhall is jailed after firing an imitation pistol in middle of the city

An armed man who twice fired an imitation firearm on a street in the middle of Sheffield has been put behind bars.

By Jon Cooper
Saturday, 20th November 2021, 7:58 am

Sheffield Crown Court heard on November 18 how Anthony MacBean, aged 54, of Gell Street, Broomhall, Sheffield, was with other people when he discharged the blank-firing starting pistol into the air.

Judge David Dixon told MacBean: “You found yourself in the middle of Sheffield with an imitation firearm which turns out to be a starting pistol.”

He added: “For reasons only you understand you got the weapon and you pointed it into the sky and you fired two shots.”

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Anthony MacBean, aged 54, of Gell Street, Broomhall, Sheffield, has been jailed after firing an imitation firearm on a street in the middle of the city

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Nigel Wray, prosecuting, said that a witness in a car had initially seen two men and two women having a heated discussion before she heard a loud bang.

Mr Wray added: "That surprised and shocked her and she saw one of the men had his left arm raised above his head and what appeared to be a handgun and he then fired that and she was aware of sparks coming out of the handgun.”

The witness stated the armed man was waving the gun around while talking to the other man and she feared he might shoot someone or himself.

MacBean was detained by a police armed response unit and officers recovered a firearm magazine from the defendant who revealed where the pistol had been dumped in nearby bushes.

The defendant claimed he had taken the imitation firearm after he had been packing his belongings from a storage unit and he had intended to hand the firearm over to the police.

Mr Wray said experts confirmed the imitation firearm was a blank-firing pistol with a fully-blocked barrel.

MacBean, who has previous convictions, pleaded guilty to possessing an imitation firearm and ammunition in a public place after the incident on September 21.

Ian West, defending, said: “Mr MacBean’s life has been plagued by class A drug use and it has left him the man he is today.”

Mr West added MacBean has been bullied by other inmates and he has been attacked twice while he has been remanded in custody.

Judge Dixon sentenced MacBean to eight months of custody and warned that anybody who discharges any firearm in a public place can expect to go to jail.