Man pleads guilty to firearms incident in Bungay
A 49 year old man has been sentenced to three years in jail after pleading guilty to a firearms incident in Bungay.
Matthew Prettyman of Beech Close in Halesworth appeared before Ipswich Crown Court on Tuesday 28 January after pleading guilty to possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear or violence at an earlier hearing on 18 October last year.
It follows an incident in Bungay on Friday 26 July at just after 3pm when police were called to his home address after receiving a call he was making threats to harm himself. It soon became apparently Prettyman was not at this address, so officers started a search for his vehicle and at 4.40pm officers were deployed to a Mountbatten Road in Bungay where they located Prettyman and his vehicle.
After making attempts to negotiate with him, asking him to leave his vehicle officers noticed he was holding a firearm which was pointed out of the car window towards officers. Upon further instructions from the officers, Prettyman then threw the firearm out of the driver’s door onto the pavement.
Officers then approached the vehicle containing Prettyman with a ballistic shield and arrested Prettyman on suspicion of possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear or violence. He was take to Great Yarmouth Police Investigation Centre where he was questioned and subsequently charged.
DC Andrew Thawley of Lowestoft CID said: "Although on closer inspection the firearm was identified as a BB gun, one officer involved stated it was the most realistic imitation firearm he has encountered. Another officer at the scene stated the incident it was the closest he had come to discharging his firearm in 10 years of service as an armed officer.
"To wave such a firearm in the direction of officers was a very threatening thing to do in the circumstances. Although Prettyman stated he had no intention of hurting anyone, it is an incident that demonstrates the extreme seriousness of such actions and how things can very quickly escalate to extremely dangerous scenarios for all involved.”