Fake gun man threatened police officer with knife

Fake gun man threatened police officer with knife

By David Parker | 29/01/2021

Fake gun man threatened police officer with knife

 

A DRUNK man who dialled 999 because a concerned neighbour had taken his BB gun away pulled a knife on the police officer who turned up to help him.

Michael Atkin had threatened to point a fake gun at his neighbours on Town Lane, Rotherham, last April.

But the 44-year-old was spared a jail sentence when he appeared before, Sheffield Crown Court last Wednesday (20).

Mr Ian Goldsack, prosecuting, told the court that one of the terrified neighbours took the BB gun away from Atkin but his response was to call the police to report the gun as stolen.


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“The officer [who responded] described Mr Atkin as being unsteady on his feet and slurring his words,” Mr Goldsack said.

“Mr Atkin said to him that a neighbour had taken his BB gun.”

The neighbour told the officer, however, that Atkin had threatened him with the gun, said Mr Goldsack.

Officers took Atkin inside where he became anxious and upset.

“He picked up a large, black-handled kitchen knife and lifted it towards [the officer’s] face,” said Mr Goldsack.

The officer had managed to take the knife and handcuff Atkin, the prosecutor said.

When police searched Atkin’s home, they seized the BB gun, the knife, a crossbow, gold ball bearings and a set of darts.

The neighbour said in a statement which was read to the court that he had been left shaken by the incident, while the police officer said he thought Atkin was going to hurt him with the knife.

“My life flashed before my eyes,” he said.

Atkin, of Pyke Road, Brinsworth, pleaded guilty to offences of possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence and common assault on an emergency worker at previous hearings at Sheffield Crown Court.

He had seven convictions for 14 previous offences.

Mitigating, Mr Dermot Hughes said: “Whilst this was a frightening incident, it’s one that can be dealt with in an alternative to immediate custody.”

Mr Hughes said Atkin had told him that he had not had any alcohol for several weeks.

Judge Rachael Harrison sentenced Atkin to 20 months in prison, suspended for 16 months.

She said it was a serious offence because he had threatened to use the gun in front of his neighbours.


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“This was on April 26, a month into a countrywide lockdown due to the pandemic, when the police were under enormous pressure,” she said.

“When they came to talk to you, when you had rung them, you chose to pick up a kitchen knife and lift it up to a police officer’s face, causing him to disarm you.”

Judge Harrison said Atkin deserved to go to prison for threatening a police officer with a knife, but decided that he could be rehabilitated in the community.

She ordered Atkin to complete 35 days of rehabilitation activity requirement and a 12-month alcohol treatment programme.

Judge Harrison banned Atkin from contacting three people who were at the incident and from going within 500 metres of his former address on Town Lane for five years through a restraining order.

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