A Territorial Army veteran who took up an air rifle to scare off youths plaguing him outside his home has been sentenced to a 12-month community order by a judge at Bradford Crown Court.

Kevin Robinson, 53, produced the legally held weapon in his back yard because he was fed up with the gang’s anti-social behaviour in Nashville Road, Keighley.

He pleaded guilty to affray on June 25 last year. A further charge of possession of an air rifle with intent to cause fear of violence was not pursued by the prosecution.

Judge Colin Burn yesterday told Robinson, who served 20 years with the TA: “I do have some sympathy with the situation you found yourself in.”

The court heard that Robinson had used the air rifle for target shooting at the TA headquarters in Keighley and for training cadets.

Letters from his neighbours supported the fact that youths were being a nuisance in the street.

Judge Burn said Robinson’s over-reaction meant they picked on him all the more.

Robinson told the judge, from the dock: “The police did not help me at all, sir.”

Judge Burn said: “It is not appropriate to take matters into your own hands as you did.”

He told Robinson he accepted that he did not actually point the gun at anyone.

Judge Burn ordered the confiscation of the air rifle to remove any temptation Robinson might have to fetch it out of the house again if provoked.