Former police officer brandished BB gun after row over loud music
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
A former police officer who pointed an imitation pistol at a neighbour after being asked to turn his loud music down has been handed a community order.
David Hewitt, 54, who was previously a specialist firearms officer with Jersey Police, appeared at Ipswich Crown Court on Wednesday for sentence.
The court heard how Hewitt began playing music at his home around 5pm on June 20, 2020.
Matthew Morgan, prosecuting, said the issue of Hewitt playing loud music had become "more of a problem during lockdown".
Hewitt's neighbour in Long Melford, near Sudbury, was with his young daughter on June 20, and could hear the "thumping of the music", Mr Morgan said.
The daughter was having trouble getting to sleep so around 9.30pm, the neighbour knocked on Hewitt's door.
Hewitt did not initially answer but eventually came to door and the neighbour explained the problem.
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Hewitt told the man he liked music and said: "All you had to do was just ask me to turn it down."
The neighbour went to leave but Hewitt then told the man not to start on him.
Words were exchanged before Hewitt grabbed a BB handgun from the hallway and pointed it at the man, the court heard.
Hewitt swore at the man before slamming the door, the court heard.
The neighbour called the police when he returned home to report the incident.
In a victim impact statement, which was read in summary to the court by Mr Morgan, the neighbour said the incident had had "a profoundly shocking effect" on his life.
Following the incident, he said was able to have his young daughter stay at his home and was forced to move.
Hewitt, now of Egremont Close, Glemsford, near Sudbury, previously pleaded guilty to possessing an imitation firearm.
A charge of possessing an imitation gun with intent to cause fear of violence was dropped by prosecutors and a verdict of not guilty was recorded.
The court heard Hewitt had no previous convictions.
Kelly Fernandez-Lee, mitigating, said Hewitt was "extremely remorseful" for his actions.
Judge Emma Peters told Hewitt he had lived an "honest and law-abiding life" but had lost his temper and made a "big mistake" Fowhen he brandished the BB handgun.
Judge Peters handed Hewitt a 12-month community order, and ordered him to undertake 100 hours of unpaid work.
He must also complete 15 rehabilitation activity requirement days, and pay £1,200 in court costs.
The judge also ordered Hewitt to pay the victim £500 in compensation.