An ex-serviceman, suffering post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), pointed what turned out to be an imitation handgun towards the front window of his neighbour’s home as if about to shoot.

Durham Crown Court heard that Steel Jagger had run a campaign of harassment against his next-door neighbour and his family, leading up to the incident on August 21, this year.

Jagger had been the subject of complaints to police by the neighbour which resulted, by August 10, in him being given cautions for criminal damage, affray and harassment after he smashed a downstairs window at the complainant’s address.

Martin Towers, prosecuting, said there were, “subsequent episodes” in the following few days and on the afternoon of August 21, Jagger placed some flowers on the pavement outside of his neighbour’s home, as if to mark his death.

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Mr Towers said the neighbour interpreted this as some sort of, “threat to his life”.

Later the same day the defendant again went outside his neighbour’s home, but this time he had a gun with him.

Mr Towers said Jagger was seen immediately outside their front window pointing a gun at his neighbour and other members of his family, in the room inside.

The Northern Echo: Ex-serviceman Steele Jagger jailed at Durham Crown Court for making threats to neighbour and his

The neighbour rang for the police, as had the defendant’s partner, who was concerned at his behaviour as he had been drinking all day.

She said that at 7pm she saw him taking out a gun from a box and saying he would, “kill him next door”.

Mr Towers said while she was on the phone to the call handler, her partner could be heard in the background as he returned to their address.

The neighbour was to tell police that the incident outside his home seemed to have lasted about 15 minutes.

Mr Towers said the defendant’s partner said he suffered with PTSD for a long time, but it had escalated over the previous 18 months due to his use of alcohol.

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The victim provided impact statements to the court outlining the fear and anxiety it has caused all members of his family and saying he had struggled to come to terms with what had gone on, as he questioned himself for failing to protect his family.

Sixty-five-year-old Jagger, of St John’s Court, Front Street, Sacriston, admitted charges of possessing a handgun with intent to cause a fear that violence would be caused, plus making a threat to kill.

Martin Scarborough, in mitigation, told the court: “Mr Jagger suffers with PTSD which appears to have followed an incident when in the forces, in Northern Ireland, in the 1970s, when one of his colleagues was killed in front of him and he was blown up and that’s why he walks with a limp.”

Mr Scarborough said the defendant also has other medical issues.

But he said: “I accept on his behalf it will have to be an immediate custodial sentence.”

Mr Scarborough added that the defendant has spent most of his time in custody in his cell, but he has been seen by the prison mental health team.”

Judge James Adkin described Jagger’s actions as, “serious intimidation”, aggravated by the earlier incidents.

“You engineered conflict with a peaceful Christian family next door and drinking to excess.

“You took your intimidation to their home without any provocation.

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“There was no threat at all (from the family) and the whole court has  sympathy if any individual suffered from that.”

Imposing a three-year prison sentence, he said he would recommend that a condition of the defendant’s licence, upon release, should be that he should not be allowed to live in the vicinity of the victim and his family.

He also made a deprivation order for the handgun and passed a 20-year restraining order forbidding Jagger from approaching or contacting the victim.