Man pointed loaded shotgun at police before setting shed on fire, court hears

Ipswich Crown Court Picture: ARCHANT

Ipswich Crown Court Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: ARCHANT

A man attacked his partner then pointed a loaded shotgun at police before setting a garden shed on fire, a court heard.

Ipswich Crown Court heard how Paul Martin, 50, pointed the weapon at officers after assaulting his partner at their address in Canhams Road, Great Cornard, near Sudbury, on September 8 last year.

Martin had been out drinking during the day and returned home in the early evening, Richard Kelly, prosecuting, told the court.

He continued to drink and became involved in an argument with his partner, the court heard.

After she went to the toilet to hide, Martin grabbed hold of her by the throat and she hit her head on the sink.

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His partner then fled to a neighbour's house and the police were called.

By then, Martin had left the house and had gone into the garden shed and when police arrived, he emerged from the shed pointing the loaded weapon at officers.

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Mr Kelly said the weapon was in "full working order" and contained a live cartridge.

Officers retreated back into the house before locking the doors and Martin then banged on the French doors with the butt of the gun.

Martin then returned to the shed and was seen by a neighbour dousing it in petrol, the court heard.

Mr Kelly said: "He then used a lighter to set the shed alight and it went up very quickly indeed."

Firearms officers and the fire service were called and Martin eventually put the shotgun down and was arrested.

The fire continued to blaze and spread to neighbouring sheds, Mr Kelly added.

On the day his trial was due to begin, Martin, of Canhams Road, Great Cornard, pleaded guilty to making use of a firearm with intent, possessing a shotgun without a certificate, arson intending to damage property, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and criminal damage.

He denied charges of possessing a shotgun with intent to endanger life, arson endangering life, making a threat to kill and assault by beating, which was accepted by the crown.

Oliver Haswell, defending, told the court that Martin had experienced mental health difficulties since he suffered a serious head injury in 1996.

Judge Martyn Levett adjourned sentence until Thursday and remanded Martin in custody.

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