Sheffield thug fired imitation shotgun in front of terrified couple following dispute
A Sheffield thug who fired an imitation shotgun into the ground in front of a couple following a domestic violence dispute has been put behind bars.
Sheffield Crown Court heard on September 9 how Hedley Patterson, aged 30, of Osprey Gardens, Skye Edge, Sheffield, had a dispute with the man and woman in Rotherham before he returned from a car armed with an imitation shotgun which he fired into the ground in front of them.
Judge Rachael Harrison told Patterson: “This is an exceptionally serious offence. You knew the weapon was in the car you said was borrowed which you should not have been driving."
She added: “What you did was walk away from the scene and return with an exceptionally realistic shotgun and fired it into the ground.”
Judge Harrsion said it must have been an ‘astonishingly frightening experience’ for the couple who sustained injuries during the incident though those injuries were nothing compared to the psychological impact upon them.
She added: “Your position is aggravated by your attempt to dispose of the weapon. You knew what you had done and you ran away.”
Police had issued an appeal after the incident at Bradgate, Rotherham.
The court heard that substance abuse had contributed towards Patterson’s behaviour but Judge Harrison said the defendant’s culpability was not influenced by his mental health issues.
Patterson, who has previous convictions including for robbery and arson, pleaded guilty to possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence after the incident on August 1, 2020.
He also admitted possessing a bladed article from June 3, 2019, after this was found in a car when he was stopped by police for driving erratically.
Report assessments revealed that Patterson had felt aggravated by the end of his relationship and he stuggled to manage his anger, emotions and jealousy particularly when misusing drugs and alcohol, according to Judge Harrison.
She said she was satisfied Patterson presents a dangerous risk to the public, with the imitation firearm incident being his second domestic violence offence after he had previously set fire to his ex-partner’s car.
Judge Harrison sentenced Patterson to seven-and-a-half years of custody and he will not be eligible for release until he has served at least two-thirds of that sentence.