A MAN who confronted a relative in the street near his home with what appeared to be a firearm is starting a 50-month prison sentence.

Terrified witnesses described seeing Jason Lee Stevenson getting out of a Volkswagen Golf in Twelfth Street, Horden, making threats to the other man with a handgun, at 11am on November 28, 2019.

Durham Crown Court heard that police received a call from the victim’s wife saying the car, containing four men, drove up near their home and Stevenson got out with another man, who was armed with a baseball bat.

Following the 30-second confrontation they returned to the car and drove away.

Both the caller and her husband named the man in possession of the gun as Stevenson, with whom they had been in telephone dispute about payment for a television set they sold to him.

Anne Richardson, prosecuting, said police inquiries revealed the VW Golf belonged to Jake Langley, who was arrested later the same day.

It was later seen on CCTV footage returning to Langley’s home, still containing four men.

The gun, an air weapon, was recovered from the address, but Langley denied knowledge of it being there.

Langley, 25, of First Street, Blackhall, admitted charges of affray and possession of a baseball bat, prior to scheduled trial, last month.

Stevenson, who was arrested a few days after the incident, denied being involved in the incident, claiming to have been with a cousin on a building job at the time.

The 31-year-old, of Gayfield Terrace, Grants Houses, near Horden, denied possessing a firearm with intent to cause a fear of violence and affray but he was convicted of both offences on 10-2 majority verdicts at the trial.

Lewis Kerr, for Stevenson, said he was a man who had been out of trouble for some time, and he described the incident as, “out of character”.

Mr Kerr said the full background to the short-lived incident, “remains something of a mystery”, adding, however, that it appeared to be, “borne out of nothing.”

Stephen Constantine, for Langley, claimed he was unaware Stevenson had a gun, and when it was produced he got back in the car.

Mr Constantine said Langley, who led a “crime free life” since a minor offence aged 15, appeared to have gone along that day out of some form of, “misguided loyalty”.

Judge Ray Singh said the victim and onlookers were not to know the gun, produced “in broad daylight in a residential street”, was an air weapon.

Passing the 50-month sentence on Stevenson, the judge said it was brandished, “with intent to maximise fear and distress”.

Langley, who the judge said went along to provide “muscle”, received a ten-month prison sentence.