Man's brandishing of fake gun to scare people was sheer stupidity, court is told
A Co Down man has admitted having a fake gun to cause fear on New Year's Day - an act described by his lawyer as one of "sheer stupidity".
Standing in the dock of Downpatrick Crown Court, 36-year-old Gareth David McConnell entered a guilty plea to the single count against him, that he had an imitation handgun with intent to cause fear of violence on January 1 this year.
Prosecuting lawyer Jonathan Connolly said McConnell, from Willow Park in Ballynahinch, had a "low level record" for being drunk and disorderly.
Judge Geoffrey Millar QC said he had read the papers and it was "fairly clear that drink was taken" at the time of the incident.
Defence counsel Stephen Molloy revealed that McConnell's father had sadly passed away "in the weeks leading up to this". "It's a combination of alcohol and a sense of bereavement that he did something out of sheer stupidity, but that's for another day," said the lawyer.
Freeing McConnell on bail pending the completion of a pre-sentence probation report, the judge told him "you will receive considerable credit for the early plea" and ordered him back to court for his sentencing on October 11.