A TWENTY-nine-year-old man who brought terror to staff at a country park by firing an imitation gun towards them has been jailed for three years.
Adam Boyce, of Low Road, Conisbrough, was found guilty of possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.
Sheffield Crown Court heard on Friday Boyce was among a group of young people who had gathered to enjoy the sunshine in April at Thrybergh Country Park.
While park rangers were in a dinghy on the lake, Boyce was seen to point and then fire what appeared to be a handgun towards them.
Loud ‘bangs’ were heard and the rangers were concerned not only for their safety, but the safety of the other young people and visitors to the park, the court was told.
The rangers took a photo of the incident and police officers from the local Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) were able to identify Boyce and arrest him.
Boyce told the court he had found the handgun, which he described as a cap gun, in the park and although it was never recovered by police, officers believe it was more likely a BB gun.
After the hearing, PC Hassan Ali, the investigating officer from Wentworth South SNT, said: “We will not tolerate anyone causing fear and distress to innocent people.
“Boyce believed he was having ‘a bit of fun’ by pointing and shooting the imitation handgun at the rangers.
“However, for the park’s staff, this was a terrifying ordeal, worried that their lives and the lives of others may be in danger.
“I hope anyone who thinks playing with these types of weapons in public is a ‘bit of fun’, takes note of this three-year prison sentence and realises that this was not a funny prank.
“If anyone is caught copying this disgusting behaviour, they will be arrested and prosecuted.”