Dad pointed airgun at neighbour’s head after loud music complaint

Zbigniew Chrostowski

Zbigniew Chrostowski

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A NEIGHBOUR pointed a gun at a mum’s head when she knocked at his house to complain about loud rave music.

Hannah Docherty went to confront Zbigniew Chrostowski at his home in Percy Terrace, Sunderland, after putting up with a day of “pop and rave” tunes blasting out of his house on March 5 last year.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the 56-year-old came to the door holding a handgun which he waved around before pointing it at her head and yelling abuse.

The weapon turned out to be an air pistol – which Chrostowski said his family kept for protection due to feeling “unsafe” in their home after suffering racial taunts.

He was initially charged with possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence but prosecutors accepted his plea to the lesser charge of using threatening words and behaviour.

Prosecutor Bridie Smurthwaite told the court Ms Docherty lived next door to the Chrostowski family with her partner and their children.

Miss Smurthwaite said: “On March 5, she heard pop and rave music playing loudly next door.

“That began at around 10.30am and continued until 3.45pm when Ms Docherty knocked on the door in order to ask for it to be turned down.

“She knocked hard and the music stopped but no-one came to the door.

“She was about to go home when she saw a curtain move so knocked again.

“The door opened almost immediately and Ms Docherty saw the defendant holding a handgun in his right hand which he waved in pointed at her head.

“She was terrified and called the police.

“The music started again but stopped just before the police arrived.”

Chrostowski, who has never been in trouble before, told police the two air pistols officers found inside the house were for “protection”.

Jamie Adams, defending, said there had been a history of problems between the two families.

Mr Adams said Chrostowski, who is from Poland, was living at the house with his daughter and son-in-law while his wife, a teacher, lives and works in Italy with their youngest daughter.

He added: “It was the son-in-law who felt, because of racism expressed in the area, they may need some protection.

“That is clearly very flawed thinking and that is accepted now.”

The court heard Chrostowski has now left Sunderland and is living in Newcastle.

Judge David Wood sentenced him to a community order for 12 months with 150 hours’ unpaid work.

The judge told him: “When your neighbour came to your house, you were rude and offensive to her and you also had a gun in your hand, an air pistol.

“That would be very frightening for any neighbour and I am sure you realise now that that was a very foolish thing to do.

“I am glad that you have now moved house and there has been no more trouble.

“I hope there will be no further trouble of this kind in future.”

Twitter: @SunderlandEcho