A gunman accused of attempting to murder a drinker at a remote pub has categorically denied intending to hurt the man despite firing four bullets through a door.

Richard Bowser admits firing the handgun outside the Tan Inn Hill following a violent altercation in the bar but maintains that he didn’t know anyone was behind the door.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the 46-year-old had pointed the revolver at the head of Lee Jackson before firing at him as he tried to hide away from the defendant.

Alistair MacDonald KC, representing the defendant, asked him whether he fired the pistol through the closed door of the bunkhouse at the rear of the pub.

He replied: “I did that, I didn’t know anybody was behind it. It was a stupid and very dangerous thing to do.”

The barrister asked whether his client intended to kill or seriously hurt Mr Jackson. He replied: “No, definitely not.”

Bowser told the court that he took the pistol and shotgun to the bar for protection because he was being targeted by another group of man who had rammed a car into his house and attacked a friend when they believed it was him.

Dealing with the allegation he held the pistol to the head of Mr Jackson, Bowser said he knew the weapon wasn’t loaded but admitted he had pulled the trigger in order to scare him.

Mr MacDonald asked him why he fired the pistol at the wooden door. Bowser replied: “I thought he might hear the bang of the gun and he would be scared.”

The barrister again asked him if he intended to hurt or kill him. Bowser replied: “No. It was absolutely stupid, I know that, it was ridiculous and disgusting behaviour but it was purely to scare him as he had come looking for me.”

Jurors heard how a bullet from the pistol was still lodged in Mr Jackson’s arm following the shooting on July 21 last year after he went to the defendant’s pod minutes after Bowser had assaulted his brother-in-law.

Under cross examination from Christine Egerton, prosecuting, the defendant accepted that everything he had done on the night was stupid.

The barrister asked why he hadn’t given the police all the details when the car was rammed into his house.

Bowser replied: “It’s because I’m not a grass.”

Earlier in the trial, jurors watched CCTV footage from inside the Tan Hill Inn showing the accused throwing punches and slapping staff and drinkers before he was forced into the external lobby of the remote pub.

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The defendant was arrested at the venue, which lies on the Pennine Way in one of the remotest parts of the Yorkshire Dales, after he was Tasered by armed police.

Bowser, of Worcester Place, Bishop Auckland, denies two charges of attempted murder, two firearms charges, and one of grievous bodily harm.

The defendant has already pleaded guilty to three counts of assault and two charges of possession of a prohibited weapon.

The trial continues.