South Yorkshire boozer held BB handgun to neighbour's head and told the man "I'll shoot you if you f****** want"

A South Yorkshire boozer who took potshots at bins before holding a BB handgun to his neighbour's head had previously terrorised people with a crossbow, Sheffield Crown Court has heard.

Wednesday, 20th January 2021, 2:03 pm

Michael Atkin began shooting from the window of his first floor flat on Town Lane, Greasbrough, Rotherham, on the evening of Sunday, April 26, said prosecutor Ian Goldsack.

When he came outside, his neighbours told him not to be so stupid and warned him he was frightening local children.

But Atkin, who was drunk, said he had done nothing wrong and asked for help to reload his gun.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Town Lane, Rotherham.

He held the gun to one neighbour's head and told the man: "I'll shoot you if you f****** want."

Another neighbour took the gun off Atkin, who came outside sometime later and called the police to complain that it had been taken.

When officers arrived, Atkin got angry again and picked up a kitchen knife. He raised it to an officer's face but he was quickly disarmed.

A search of his flat revealed a crossbow, gold ball bearings and darts, which were confiscated.

His neighbours were left "shaking" after the incident and were "petrified" he would shoot someone. They referred to previous incidents with Atkins and his crossbow.

Dermot Hughes, mitigating, said Atkin, who has been moved out of the area, "has been troubled by alcohol and has quite significant health problems."

"While this was a frightening episode it is one that can properly be dealt with by way of a non-custodial sentence," he said, adding that Atkin was "vulnerable and frail," and wouldn't cope in prison.

"I respectfully invite your Honour to offer him an opportunity to redeem himself," Mr Hughes said. "The public is better served by tackling those problems."

Atkin, 44, of Pyke Road, Rotherham, pleaded guilty after initially denying the offences.

Judge Rachael Harrison told him: “If you choose to pull a knife on a police officer you deserve to go to prison.” But, there was a realistic possibility of rehabilitation, she added.

He was sentenced to 20 months, suspended for two years, with 35 rehabilitation days, a 12-month alcohol treatment programme, and a two-month curfew. A five-year restraining order, banning him from going to his old address, was also made.

Read the latest cases from Sheffield Crown Court here.

Thank you to all who support local journalism with a digital or print subscription to The Star. The events of 2020 mean trusted, local journalism is more reliant than ever on your support. We couldn't do it without you. Subscribe here https://bit.ly/2YqMXgK so we can keep campaigning on your behalf. Stay safe.