AARON Pugh confronted a group of youngsters with a gun after his complaints about their behaviour fell on deaf ears, he claims.
The 32 year-old man of Lyneham drive, Kingsway, “felt he had no option” but to tackle the youths because he had complained repeatedly to the police about them and nothing had happened, Gloucester crown court was told.
Speaking on his doorstep, he told the Citizen: “I’ve lived here for two years and the trouble started pretty much straight away.
“I am a dad just trying to protect my family. I’m not the one in the wrong.
“The kids were joyriding outside the house, throwing rubbish and smashing glass bottles.”
Pugh had been accused of possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence but at Friday’s hearing the charge was reduced to affray and he pleaded guilty.
Andrew Hobson, defending, asked Judge Jamie Tabor QC if he would consider passing a conditional discharge in view of the background.
But Judge Tabor said that as a gun was involved he felt there should be a pre-sentence report from the probation service. He bailed Pugh until January 23.
Paul Cook, prosecuting, said the Crown had decided to reduce the charge to affray because CCTV of the incident had shown Pugh was the only person who had told the police the truth about what happened.
Judge Tabor said: “It involved a group of young men who said they were trying to retrieve their football?”
Mr Cook said: “Yes. There was no football. That doesn’t help their case really.”
Andrew Hobson, defending, said: “This was a man who was at the end of his tether. He went outside with an air rifle. He didn’t point it at anyone. He was simply holding it. It was unloaded.
“He felt he had no option. He had complained to the police about youths many times but nothing had happened.”
Bailing Pugh, the judge told him he was not considering a custodial sentence. “In the circumstances of this case I believe there are sensible alternatives,” he said. “It is quite clear you were the only person who told the truth this day.
“You were made the subject of a lot of misery as a result of the behaviour of these young men.”
Anti-social youths are currently being tackled on Kingsway by the Reach Out! project which sees a youth worker going out once a week to talk to youngsters on the streets.