A MAN who pointed an imitation gun at a neighbour following a complaint about noise has been jailed for two years.

Anthony Rennard was told he was taking a 'crazy risk' when brandishing the ball-bearing gun after armed response officers were called to deal with the incident in Darlington earlier this year.

The defendant was hosting a drunken party when he clashed with his neighbour and attempted to intimidate her with the weapon.

Glenn Gatland, prosecuting, told the court that the imitation gun and ammunition was found by police when they searched his home.

He said Rennard told police that he also had a Taser at him home which was disguised as a key for a BMW.

Teesside Crown Court heard how Rennard jailed for more than eight years in 2016 for carrying out a brutal assault on his friend over a row about a £30 debt.

The Northern Echo: Anthony RennardAnthony Rennard

The defendant slashed his friend on the face with a knife and then jumped on him during a violent assault while he was living in Glasgow.

Rennard, of Brougham Street, Darlington, pleaded guilty to possession of a Tazer, possession of a firearm and possession of the pellets.

The 25-year-old was recalled on licence following his arrest in January.

Paul Abrahams, in mitigation, said his client was fully expecting a custodial sentence but had already been recalled to prison.

Judge Jonathan Carroll sentenced Rennard to two years in custody to run concurrently alongside his licence recall.

He said: "What you did whilst in drink was take out a ball-bearing gun, one which was found by the police to be a highly realistic looking imitation weapon.

"It appears to have been loaded and you were brandishing it around in a threatening and intimidating manner.

"You succeeded to a limited degree because your neighbour was clearly intimidated but she had the good sense to call the police and firearms officers were sent around.

"This is why firearms offences are so dangerous; once you start waving around a weapon like that, whether you intended to cause harm or whether you had the ability to cause harm, is immaterial because once firearms police called they are operating with real guns, operating under real pressure and have to make snap, life and death decisions.

"And you were taking that risk – it's crazy to take that kind of risk over something as trivial as a row with your neighbour."