Belfast Telegraph

Man (65) who brandished imitation firearm at Belfast club avoids prison

'The barrister said words were exchanged, voices were raised, and after fearing things were escalating, the injured party punched Reynolds in the face' (stock photo)
'The barrister said words were exchanged, voices were raised, and after fearing things were escalating, the injured party punched Reynolds in the face' (stock photo)

By Ashleigh McDonald

A pensioner who brandished an imitation firearm outside a social club in Belfast in a bid to frighten another man has been given a suspended sentence.

James Patrick Reynolds (65) from Kinnaird Close in the city received an 18-month prison sentence, which was suspended for two years at the Crown Court, after he admitted possessing an imitation shotgun with intent last June 17.

A prosecuting barrister said what took place outside the Lower Falls Social Club was linked to a matter several days before, when Reynolds was involved in "an incident with staff" which rendered him "no longer welcome in the club".

At around 1pm on June 17, the injured party saw Reynolds making his way to the club's entrance. He was told he wasn't getting in.

The barrister said words were exchanged, voices were raised, and after fearing things were escalating, the injured party punched Reynolds in the face.

Reynolds had walked away muttering under this breath, the court heard.

Later that day, Reynolds returned and, according to the Crown, "reached inside his trousers and pulled out what appeared to be a shotgun". Police were called and Reynolds was arrested.

The prosecutor said that while Reynolds initially made no comment, he later made the case that he had fashioned items to resemble a shotgun, then returned to the scene to frighten the injured party.

"Clearly that had the desired affect," the prosecutor said.

Defence barrister Kelly Doherty said Reynolds had poor mental health and issues with alcohol, but that since a period on remand last year, her client had abstained.

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