Belfast Telegraph

Drunk Belfast man who fired pellet gun at officers jailed for nine months

An east Belfast man has been jailed for nine months after he repeatedly fired a pellet gun at police
An east Belfast man has been jailed for nine months after he repeatedly fired a pellet gun at police

By John Cassidy

An east Belfast man has been jailed for nine months after he repeatedly fired a pellet gun at police.

Darren Orr was told he will spend a further nine months on supervised licence on his release.

With time already served on remand, Orr (41), of Sandown Drive, will now spend a further month in custody before being freed after he admitted three charges of assault on police, having a firearm with intent and possessing the weapon without a certificate.

Prosecution lawyer Philip Henry told Belfast Crown Court that on October 30 last year police were called to the home over a domestic disturbance. Police arrived and went to an upstairs bedroom to speak with the defendant, but he threw a juice bottle at them.

When they attempted to speak to him again, the lawyer said Orr opened the door "and started shooting, firing 10 shots from an air pistol'' in their direction.

The court heard police recorded Orr shouting at them: "I am going to shoot you all.''

Said Mr Henry: "In this first shooting incident, he emptied the magazine in the revolver and reloaded. Police ran downstairs and waited on the arrival of an armed response unit.''

During a second incident, Orr fired the gun out of the bedroom window and into the street.

When the armed response unit entered the property, Mr Henry said Orr tried to "throw a blanket'' over the heavily armed officers before being restrained.

Orr - who has a previous conviction for possessing an offensive weapon - told police at interview that he could remember little about the incident.

The defendant admitted the revolver was his "but didn't remember using it''.

He said he had consumed a bottle of Southern Comfort and 18 tins of beer combined with a variety of drugs he had taken.

During a search of the bedroom, police recovered what the lawyer described as a "BB gun'' along with a tin of pellets.

A second air pistol was found but had no air cannister fitted, with Orr telling police it was broken.

Defence barrister Denis Boyd told the Belfast Recorder that it was clear from the amount of alcohol Orr had taken he was "very, very drunk'' and was now "genuinely remorseful''.

He urged Judge David McFarland not to jail Orr, saying the Probation Service was of the opinion he needed help with his mental health issues and his drug and alcohol dependency.

Mr Boyd added: "The problem is that in prison he is not getting the help he needs.''

Handing down an 18-month determinate prison sentence, the judge accepted that pellets from the air gun may not have caused serious injury to uniform police given the protection they wear.

The judge ordered a destruction of the two airguns and the tin of pellets.

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