Belfast Telegraph

Man who 'thinks he has nothing to be happy for' brandished fake gun in hope police would shoot him dead

By Staff Reporter

A man pointed an imitation firearm at two members of the public in a park and then went to a nearby police station still carrying the fake weapon in the hope officers would "shoot him dead", a court has heard.

Aaron Tkaczyk (22), of The Cedars in Antrim, pulled out an imitation Glock handgun at the town's Castle Gardens on July 13 last year, before going to Antrim PSNI station.

He was arrested, and appeared in court for sentencing after previously pleading guilty to a charge of carrying an imitation firearm in public.

A tearful Tkaczyk listened yesterday at a sitting of Antrim Magistrates Court as a prosecutor said that, when interviewed the next day, the defendant admitted his intention was to "create a situation whereby police would shoot him dead".

He told officers he believed that if he pointed the gun at someone, they would be phoned and would then kill him.

Defence barrister Neil Moore explained it was a "sad" case and, although his client worked full-time as a production operator, he had a limited number of friends and a limited social life, but lived with his father, and had his support.

Mr Moore said: "The thinking appeared to be that if he waved this imitation firearm that police would arrive and take the step of actually shooting him dead."

He added that Tkaczyk "sees no merit in anything other than getting up and going to work" and thinks he has nothing to be "happy for".

Mr Moore said his client had shown remorse for the other individuals involved.

The barrister said his client had mental health problems and the only relationship the defendant had ended in a court appearance for harassment.

District Judge Oonagh Mullan said it was an "extremely sad case" that a young man feels "life is not worth living" and that he had previously said he was not prepared to engage with any help offered by probation.

However, in court Tkaczyk said he was prepared to take help.

The judge said it was an extremely serious incident for which the defendant could be sent to jail, and she said she would prefer that he gets help to let him see that his "future is brighter".

She imposed 18 months probation with a condition that Tkaczyk engages in mental health courses as directed, and told the defendant she hoped he could "get out of the black hole you are in at the minute".

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