Woman jailed for drunkenly brandishing imitation firearm at two groups of people

A woman who left two groups of people fearing for their lives after she drunkenly brandished an imitation firearm at them has been jailed for four years.

By Sarah Marshall
Tuesday, 23 April, 2019, 14:26

Tiffany Roberts, who is also known by the surname Buxton, began her crime spree in the beer garden of the Midland Hotel pub in Killamarsh on the evening of September 9, 2017. 

In a hearing held today, Sheffield Crown Court heard how the pub’s landlady and a second woman approached Roberts, aged 30, to see if she was alright after they noticed she was crying and appeared to be distressed. 

Tiffany Roberts was jailed for four years, during a hearing held at Sheffield Crown Court on Thursday

Prosecutor Neil Coxon said the two women encouraged Roberts to leave her car at the pub and take a taxi home because she appeared to be intoxicated. 

“The defendant asked her [the second woman] to help her get her money from her car...as she got in the car, she noticed the defendant was picking up something from the drivers’ side footwell. She then became aware that the defendant had a gun, that it transpired later was an imitation firearm,” said Mr Coxon. 

He added: “The defendant pointed the gun straight towards her. She was about six inches from her face and put her finger on the trigger, pointing it straight at her.”

The woman got out of the car and shouted ‘she’s got a gun’ to the landlady and her brother, who was now outside. 

Roberts subsequently held the imitation firearm in the air and pointed it at the group, before getting back into her car and driving off, the court heard. 

In a victim impact statement read to the court, the second woman described how the incident had left her with post-traumatic stress disorder and had made her fearful of harm being caused to her children. 

“I was terrified, I thought she was going to shoot me. All I could think about was my children,” said the woman. 

Following this incident, Roberts drove to Mosborough where she was involved in a road traffic collision with a taxi.

Roberts got out of her vehicle and attempted to walk away, but was followed by a number of residents who had witnessed the collision. 

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Mr Coxon described how the group of residents saw Roberts ‘pull a gun’ from her shorts, and proceeded to threaten them with it. 

Roberts told one of the residents she was going to have her ‘head blown off’. 

The woman Roberts threatened attempted to reason with her, and told her to think of her ‘mum and family,’ the court heard. 

Another member of the group, who is a trained solicitor, told her the police were on their way and it would be worse for her if ‘she was found with a gun’ – causing Roberts to stash the imitation firearm in a nearby bush. 

Roberts was arrested at the scene. 

Mr Coxon said police analysis had revealed the ‘gun’ to be a Colt Mark IV Series 80 air pistol. 

Roberts,of St Cuthberts Court, Gateshead pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence at an earlier hearing. 

Ian West, defending, criticised the amount of time it had taken for the case to come to court, but said Roberts, who has a criminal record of 52 previous offences, had managed to tackle her alcohol abuse problem in that time. 

“She’s had the opportunity to drastically turn her life around,” said Mr West, adding that when her lengthy criminal record is taken into consideration, the fact Roberts has not committed any additional offences since September 2017 marks an ‘incredible turn around’. 

Judge Robert Moore said Roberts’ offending was so serious that ‘only a sentence of immediate imprisonment could be justified’, and jailed her for four years. 

- South Yorkshire Police have been asked to provide a custody image of Roberts