'Stupid' gun blast student is spared jail

A DRUNK student who sparked an armed police operation after firing a gun in a Sheffield suburb has been spared jail.

David Wilson, aged 20, was spotted topless in Marlborough Road, Broomhill, waving an air rifle at neighbouring houses.

Sheffield Crown Court heard a girl in a house opposite saw the gun pointed at her and heard the gun fired more than once.

Prosecutor Paul O'Shea said armed officers swooped and found a .22 air rifle. Wilson, of Nottingham, immediately confessed and apologised, he added.

The court heard the final year Nottingham University economics student, who is predicted to get a first class degree, had come to Sheffield for a friend's 21st.

They had gone out at 5pm and downed beer, wine and vodka before the incident at 11.24pm on November 27.

Mr O'Shea said the defendant was in a group who burst out of the house after it was egged by other students.

Wilson pleaded guilty to threatening unlawful violence.

Judge Michael Murphy said he deserved a "first class honours degree in stupidity", but jailing him would be "a waste".

He added: "Anyone in the 21st century who has a gun on the street in a big city can expect trouble. This conviction will come back to haunt you year after year for the rest of your life."

He ordered Wilson to serve a 12-month community sentence with 120 hours of unpaid work.

Miranda Bevan, defending, said the gun was unloaded and it was a "disastrously ill-judged prank"

- Last year Sheffield Hallam student Philip Laing, 19, was sentenced to 250 hours' community service. after he drunkenly urinated on a war memorial.

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