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Judge warns Jason O’Driscoll he will go to prison if he does it again
A man with severe physical and mental health difficulties put members of the public in fear when he waved and pointed an air weapon at them, a court heard.
Jason O’Driscoll, 41, who had been drinking, was seen in Back Aylesbury Street, off Queens Road, Ingrow, Keighley, during a busy time of day in August, pointing an air rifle at passers by, cars and buses, Bradford Crown Court was told today.
Prosecutor Bashir Ahmed said O’Driscoll was eventually disarmed by a man who knew him.
Mr Ahmed said: “The incident lasted ten to 15 minutes and during that time various people were in fear as a consequence of him waving the air rifle and pointing it. One lady and her child ran down the street when she saw the gun.”
O’Driscoll, of Oakvale House, Halifax Road, Keighley, who pleaded guilty to affray, told police he was in drink and did not want to put anyone in fear.
After reading a detailed psychiatric report about the defendant, Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC sentenced him to a 12-month community order, with supervision and a six-month alcohol treatment requirement.
Judge Durham Hall told O’Driscoll, who hobbled into court on a crutch: “You suffer, indeed labour under, significant physical and mental health infirmities. You have suffered throughout your life from extremely life threatening illnesses.”
The judge said O’Driscoll’s physical disabilities and mental health issues had increased his dependence on alcohol, and he was in a state of drink when he gestured with the unloaded air weapon in a public street, causing extreme distress to others.
Judge Durham Hall added: “It must be, to some, their worst nightmare to be confronted by someone waving a weapon. We have all seen the effect of shootings.”
He said probation, supported by psychiatric and community agencies, were the best people to deal with him. He said the defendant was vulnerable and would be very vulnerable in prison.
But the judge warned O’Driscoll: “You have to tackle your drinking, whatever the causes. If you wander about with a weapon, next time you will go to prison.”