Imitation gun was fired at motorist in Leicester road-rage incident
A man fired a fake gun from his car at another motorist while stopped at traffic lights.
Jake Chetwynd was the front seat passenger in a BMW which pulled up alongside another car at the junction of Victoria Road East and Gipsy Lane, Leicester, on July 31.
Leicester Crown Court heard eye contact was made between the 21-year-old and the other motorist, before the defendant said "what what" and made hand gestures towards the other car.
The driver, whose window was partially opened, swore at Chetwynd who leaned over and pulled out a silver air pistol, similar to a BB gun.
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The 21-year-old, of Dove Rise, Oadby, fired two shots towards the car, before the vehicle he was in sped off, chased by the man whom he threatened.
Chetwynd pleaded guilty to possessing an imitation firearm, intending a person to fear unlawful violence would be used against him, and was sentenced to a year in prison.
Prosecuting, Victoria Rose said: "The defendant was saying 'what what' and making hand gestures, but it's fair to say that the driver of the other car was also responding in the same way.
"In essence they were both really giving as good as each other during that altercation.
"He [Chetwynd] shot two pellets towards him and they hit the passenger window and the BMW motor vehicle drove off.
"There was a pursuit, with the other driver pursuing the BMW over a number of streets, which included poor driving, nearly resulting with a collision with police officers in The Portwey when the BMW was travelling on the wrong side of the road."
She said Chetwynd got out of the car, which drove off. The man whom he threatened got out of his car and detained Chetwynd, until he was arrested by police.
The court heard Chetwynd had a previous conviction for burglary and was jailed for 27 months in November 2011. He had been released from prison four weeks before he fired the imitation firearm.
Defending, Richard Holloway said Chetwynd had been working long hours and had been getting a lift to work when the incident occurred.
"Jake Chetwynd knew the man [in the other car] and knew he had a reputation. The other man was getting out of the car and Jake Chetwynd knew what this man was like – I'll say no more than that. He fired in the direction of the car – not at the man – really to persuade him not to do what he was going to do."
He said that Chetwynd was "metaphorically kicking himself".
Sentencing, Judge Simon Hammond said using an imitation gun in public was "absolutely inexcusable."
He said: "The window was partially open. The risk was if a shot went through the window it could have blinded the other man.
"We cannot have a road rage incident when people start producing imitation guns."