A PENSIONER who made a comment about the Cumbria shooting tragedy ended up being arrested and held in prison for 10 days.
Clive Michael Hurst, 65, wanted to get back with his wife but when she refused to go on holiday with him he made a threat and made a reference to the multiple shootings by Derrick Bird.
Mold Crown Court was told that it was claimed he told his wife Jennifer: “That fella had a gun. He had the right idea. I am going to get a gun and shoot everyone involved.”
Hurst was charged with causing his wife to fear unlawful violence and an unlicensed shotgun was seized by police from his home.
But in a later statement his wife said on reflection what he had said was not quite as bad as what she had first told the police.
Hurst had told her the man in Cumbria had the right idea about getting a gun and shooting the people involved. But he had not threatened her and she was quite sure he did not intend to harm her or anyone else.
Hurst, of Castle Street, Caergwrle, admitted possessing an unlicensed shotgun – an antique which he kept for sentimental reasons because it was owned by his grandfather, who had been Gladstone’s gamekeeper. The charge of intending to cause fear of violence was dropped.
Judge Philip Hughes said he would need a pre-sentence report. Hurst, he said, was a depressed man with a shotgun and the background was that he had been talking about doing the same thing as the man in Cumbria.
Myles Wilson, defending, said the gun had not been fired for generations and was kept for sentimental reasons. There were no cartridges in the house for it to be fired.
He said Hurst had spent 10 days – the equivalent of a 20 day sentence – in Altcourse Prison, Liverpool.
The court heard the couple had been together for 44 years but separated last year.
They lived quite close together and he would go around to her house causing a nuisance and trying to persuade her to return to him.
Mr Wilson said Hurst went to see his wife at their son’s home on June 8 and again tried to persuade her to resume their relationship.
He asked her to go on holiday but when she refused he made the threat referring to recent events in Cumbria.
However his wife later retracted her original claims and said she was not frightened of him.
Mr Wilson said Hurst suffered from mild depression and he was a man of good character. He had had enough punishment.
But the judge said it was a case of ensuring that the proper sentence adequately punished him and protected the public.
The case was adjourned and Hurst was bailed to the home of his sister and brother-in-law, a retired police superintendent, near Shrewsbury.
The judge ruled he could only contact his wife by phone and would have to report to the police twice a week.
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