An elderly man pulled a gun on his neighbour, pointed it at the man’s groin and threatened to “put one in him and drop him,” a jury has heard.
The defendant — 63-year-old John Kiley — and his neighbour Patrick Corvan “did not get on very well at all” and had a dispute over the ownership of ground at the front of their properties, Belfast Crown Court heard.
The pair owned adjoining properties at Quarry Cottages in Whitehead. Mr Corvan and his family lived there while next door was Kiley’s holiday home.
Prosecuting lawyer Tessa Kitson said things came to a head on May 17 last year when Mr Corvan noticed a stranger outside.
It turned out he was an Environmental Health engineer talking to Kiley, who was on his property. “There was certainly a lot of sensitivity about who owned what ground at the front of the properties,” said the lawyer.
She said when Mr Corvan asked them to get off his property “words were exchanged between them about what they would do to each other”.
After the engineer had gone, Kiley went back into his cottage but came out and the pair continued to hurl abuse at each other, Mrs Kitson said.
She told the jury of seven men and four women that Kiley reached behind him and pulled a pistol from the waistband of his trousers. He cocked it, pointed at Mr Corvan's groin and threatened “words to the effect that he was going to put one in him and drop him”, Mrs Kitson said.
Equally incensed and frightened, Mr Corvan challenged him, saying: “Come on.” But Kiley backed off. Both returned to their cottages where Mr Corvan called the police.
After he was arrested and interviewed by police, Kiley denied the incident happened in the garden or that he threatened Mr Corvan.
Instead he claimed that Mr Corvan had come to his front door and that he felt so threatened, he felt he needed the weapon for his own defence.
Kiley denies charges of possessing the Browning 9mm pistol with intent to cause fear of violence and making a threat to kill.
However, Mrs Kitson said: “There were no blows exchanged, Mr Corvan did not have a gun, Mr Corvan did not have a baseball bat and Mr Corvan had no weapon of offence but Mr Kiley said that he felt threatened and that he felt in danger and that was why he drew his gun.”
The trial continues.