Jailed: Gunman who fired at neighbours in ‘Rocky Balboa’ moment

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A GUNMAN who fired an air pistol at neighbours in a “Rocky Balboa moment” during a street row has been jailed.

Luke Short, pictured, aimed the imitation firearm at rivals on Lowerson Avenue, Shiney Row, and fired pellets which left them cowering in fear.

Newcastle Crown Court heard one dad was worried that the window of the bedroom where his 11-month-old daughter was sleeping would be shattered during the trouble.

Short admitted possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.

Miss Recorder Hunt jailed the 21-year-old for eight months.

The judge told him: “This offence is a serious matter. It stems from an argument or feud.

“It was a realistic weapon you had in your hands.

“You lost control of yourself and your temper.”

Prosecutor Jolyon Perks told the court trouble had flared in the street on May 4 last year.

He said: “It was a neighbour dispute, it had been festering all day and it had been occurring proximate to the address where this defendant was living.

“At some point, some individuals called the defendant a grass, they believed he had been involved somehow in escalating this argument.

“Witnesses describe the defendant appearing outside his address with the weapon.

“He was then seen to raise it where he aimed and discharged the gun.”

In response to the firing of the weapon, the worried dad who feared for the safety of his baby daughter assaulted Short and received a police caution.

He told police: “I was scared for her safety as the shots could have hit her window and injured her.”

Short was arrested and told police he had a “Rocky Balboa moment and decided to get the weapon out”.

Nobody was injured and no damage was caused by the shots, which Mr Perks said was “luck rather than judgment”.

Nicholas Lane, defending, said: “It was a snap decision, not a planned out, prolonged incident, it was a spur of the moment event. He describes it as a Rocky Balboa moment.”

The court heard Short has no history of violent offending or using weapons and has never been to prison before. Tests on the weapon showed it had limited fire power and had little potential to cause serious injury.