Man jailed for threatening to shoot bailiffs with a toy lizard
A MAN has been jailed for eight months after he pointed a toy lizard at two bailiffs and threatened to shoot them.
Shane Burton picked up the nearest thing to hand and threatened the men from a window of his flat when he saw them clamping his Land Rover Freelander, Nottingham Crown Court heard.
He shouted: "Get away from the car, get away from the car or I will shoot you".
Bailiffs Christopher Heath and Ricky Knight, who had a warrant to clamp the car for unpaid parking fines, saw a square object, which they believed to be a handgun, being pointed towards them by Burton.
Jim Metcalf, prosecuting Burton, said the bailiffs were shocked and scared.
"They took the clamp off and they drove away," said Mr Metcalf. "As they drove off, the defendant came out of the flats, got into his Land Rover and followed them to Colwick Road."
Burton, 45, of Radbourne Road, Sneinton, was arrested after the bailiffs reported the matter to police.
A search of his home revealed he had lawfully-held imitation firearms and knives.
Burton said he had shouted at the bailiffs, who were there legitimately, and picked up the first thing that came to hand – the toy lizard.
Judge Michael Stokes QC had asked to see a photograph of the offending lizard but one was not available in court.
He said: "It's very odd he should pick up the lizard when he had this array of weapons available."
Burton pleaded guilty to possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.
The legislation covers anything that has the appearance of being a firearm and, in Burton's case, he had also threatened to shoot the men.
Judge Stokes QC sent him to prison for eight months, saying: "We cannot have people, even with a pretend object, pointing them at bailiffs, threatening to shoot them and chasing them down the road."
The court heard Burton had been in a dispute over the parking tickets, and claimed his vehicle was cloned and he was getting tickets for another vehicle.
Adrian Reynolds, in mitigation, said described what happened as spontaneous and there was a "genuine belief" by Burton he was being wronged over the parking tickets.
"He forgot in the heat of the moment these were just two human beings doing their job," added Mr Reynolds.