Sunderland man brandished fake gun at teenagers after coming under attack from 'unruly mob'

A householder brandished a fake gun in the street outside his home after he came under attack by an "unruly mob of yobs".

David Chapman.
David Chapman.

David Chapman picked up a cigarette lighter, which was shaped like a Beretta pistol, and took it into the street after the teenagers had gathered outside his home on April 22.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the 51-year-old had already reported the problem to the police and officers had attended but the youths returned.

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CCTV from the street showed Chapman socialising outside his house at Hudson Road, Sunderland, with friends when teenagers approach and there is a "hostile altercation".

Prosecutor Daniel Penman said the footage shows Chapman initially remain in his doorway for around ten minutes then come out carrying a table leg.

Mr Penman added: "He is shouted at by one of the young people.

"The young person is bouncing, holding his arms out."

The court heard Chapman made a "sweeping motion, nowhere near striking distance" towards the teen then went back inside his home.

Mr Penman added: "When the defendant reappeared he was holding an imitation firearm, a cigarette lighter in the shape of a Beretta pistol."

The court heard by the time Chapman produced the fake gun the youths had left the area.

When police searched Chapman's home they found the lighter and a carbon dioxide-powered air pistol, which he was banned from having due to his previous convictions.

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Chapman admitted possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence and possessing a firearm while prohibited.

He has served over seven months in custody.

Jamie Adams, defending, told the court: "Trouble came his way in the form of these unruly mob of yobs."

Mr Adams said Chapman was hit in the head with stones during the earlier stand-off and there were other missiles thrown at him.

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Mr Adams added: "He was clearly under threat from a number of people behaving in an appalling way outside of his house."

Mr Adams said Chapman, who has had a problem with alcohol which he has overcome while on remand, had been "simply socialising" when he was targeted.

Mr Recorder Mark McKone KC said the youths did not see Chapman bring the fake gun outside.

Chapman was sentenced to a community order for two years with rehabilitation requirements.