A MAN who brandished an air pistol after having a knife held to his throat has been jailed for seven weeks.

Klaudio Serjanaj was almost 200 miles from home when he was threatened with the knife when a man climbed into the rear of his car when he was parked in Middlesbrough town centre.

Teesside Crown Court heard there was no real explanation as to why the 27-year-old had left his hometown of Bedford to visit the region.

The court heard how Serjanaj was forced out of his car on Parliament Street by the man armed with a knife before pulling out a Umarex Colt air pistol.

Judge Howard Crowson said: "I don't believe I know the true circumstances behind this offence but perhaps I don't need to.

"You were nowhere near your home and there has been no plausible explanation given for why you were in that street on that day.

"You were confronted by a man who threatened to harm you and you were able to put your hands on this air pistol quickly.

"It looks like a lethal firearm and could have caused great anxiety but after watching the CCTV it appears that nobody seemed very concerned and it wasn't aimed at anyone in particular.

"You reacted to a serious threat to your safety and even then the weapon was not brandished in a way that caused a person to fear that he would have been immediately shot.

"It says a good deal about you that you were the one who reported this to the police."

Serjanaj, of Palgrave Road, Bedford, pleaded guilty to possession of air weapon and a breach of bail after he failed to attend court in January.

Jonathan Walker, prosecuting, told the court that the man who threatened Serjanaj was a fellow Albanian who stole the defendant's Vauxhall Insignia on September 13 last year at 6.45pm.

He said CCTV supported the defendant's claim that the man had climbed into the rear of the car and put a knife to his throat and threatening him.

"The defendant got out of the vehicle and produced the air gun before chasing the vehicle as it was driven away by the Albanian," he added.

"The defendant than attended the local police station to report the matter. The vehicle was recovered at a later stage in Stockton and the air gun was retrieved from the yard of storage building nearby."

Mr Walker said the weapon was a Umarex Colt .177 carbon dioxide powered airgun and the gun had a gas bulb when it was recovered by police.

CCTV footage showed the defendant chasing the vehicle as the Albanian drove the car away and the gun could be seen in Serjanaj's hand.

Phil Brunt, in mitigation, urged the judge to follow his own recommendation to impose a short custodial sentence.

The weapon was ordered to be seized and destroyed by the judge.