A DRUNKEN man who used an air rifle in an argument in the street over a dog has been jailed for 28 months.
Shaun Gooch and his victim were both drunk at 7am when they started arguing in Sixth Street, Horden, a court heard.
Chris Baker, prosecuting, told Durham Crown Court: “It seems the dispute started over a dog.
“Gooch jabbed a knife towards the other man.
“He then picked up an air rifle that was on a nearby wall and shot it.
“The air rifle was later recovered from a taxi which had been used by Gooch’s sister.
“A knife was found in a nearby bush and Gooch had air rifle pellets in his pocket when he was arrested.”
Gooch, of Seventh Street, Horden, admitted affray, possessing an air weapon while prohibited from doing so, and possessing an offensive weapon, all on August 16 last year.
The case was adjourned for the probation service to prepare pre-sentence reports about him.
The court heard Gooch is not allowed to have an air rifle because of a previous conviction for attempted arson.
Mr Baker added: “That offence involved throwing a petrol bomb into an occupied house – it did not go off.”
Bob Spragg, defending, told the court that the terms of his sentence for the arson offence mean Gooch was recalled to prison after his new conviction.
He said in mitigation: “The sentence for the attempted arson was 54 months.
“He has been recalled on licence and his earliest release date is July of 2015.
“Realistically, it is unlikely any sentence he receives today will add to that date.
“In that respect, he has already paid a heavy price.”
Judge Christopher Prince jailed Gooch for 28 months.
The judge told him: “That is the appropriate sentence for these offences, although I accept it may be academic in terms of when you are released from custody.”
The knife and air rifle were confiscated and will be destroyed.