A DRINK and drug-fuelled man took pot shots with an air rifle at two unarmed police officers called to a report of an ongoing domestic incident in the early hours of the morning, a court was told.

Jordan Smith discharged a volley of up to five ten-shot rounds at the two female officers, while shouting threats from an upstairs window of a house, in Shildon, at 2.30am on May 30.

Durham Crown Court heard that the officers were called to the address, in Jubilee Road, which Smith shared with his partner at the time.

Liam O’Brien, prosecuting, said he had returned to the property in an intoxicated state and became involved in a row in which he took his partner’s phone and threw it, causing damage.

It was reported to police and as the two officers were arriving at the property, Smith’s partner was leaving in an agitated state.

She warned them that he had an air rifle and would shoot at the officers.

Mr O’Brien said her fears were not misplaced as Smith, who shouted that armed police should have been summoned, “took the foolish decision to discharge it, up to 50 times.”

The officers took evasive action and were not hit or injured, but both later spoke of their shock that the defendant would do such a thing.

One of them, the mother of two young children who had only been with the Durham force for two months, said she kept replaying the incident, which lasted seven minutes, over in her mind.

Mr O’Brien said Smith has a “very limited” past criminal record but served a 12-month custodial sentence for growing cannabis and abstracting electricity, in 2015.

Smith, 27, admitted possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause a fear of violence and criminal damage.

Ismael Uddin, in mitigation, said the defendant is realistic enough to know the latest offences merit a further spell in custody.

“He says he’s thoroughly ashamed and embarrassed at the distress caused, not only to his partner but to the police officers and others affected that night.

“He had been drinking and smoking cannabis.

“He has had a long-standing ‘relationship’ with drugs.

“Due to the pandemic he lost his job and was going to lose his flat.

“He was low and it caused him to behave in a manner he would not normally behave.”

Imposing a 27-month prison sentence, Judge Ray Singh told Smith: “Discharging an imitation firearm at officers carrying out their duty is a seriously aggravating feature in this case.

“It’s only really good fortune no-one was injured or seriously hurt.”


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