Ex-soldier threatened with gun outside Flintshire pub


Staff Reporter

AN ex-soldier who had served in Afghanistan was left shocked after he was threatened with a ‘handgun’ outside a Holywell pub.

It turned out to be an imitation – a plastic toy gun – but the victims did not know that at the time, a court heard.

The ex-soldier was one of two door staff on duty outside the Victoria Hotel on November 16 when they were approached by defendant Ryan Shacklady.

The 31-year-old father of two was dunk and slurring his words, Emmalyne Downing, prosecuting, told Mold Crown Court.

Shacklady, of Llys Brenin, Holywell, admitted possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence. He was sentenced to six months in jail, suspended for 18 months. He was given 18 months supervision and was ordered to complete 200 hours unpaid work.

Shacklady must pay each doorman £100 compensation together with £180 costs to the prosecution.

The prosecutor said: “He was refused entry and later returned and again was refused entry and told he was too drunk. He left but this time he said he would see them in five minutes and he was going to sort them out. Twenty minutes later he returned and had his hand behind his back, as he approached he produced a small black handgun which they thought was real.

“He pointed it at Patrick Dunbar and said he was going to shoot him in the head. He told him to go around the side of the hotel and said he would sort him out.” As soon as he knew the police had been called, Shacklady left and went to a nearby block of flats.

“The police arrived and contained the area,” said Miss Downing.

Shacklady eventually emerged with a dog and told police not to worry that the gun was not real. But as Shacklady was taken to the police car he again threatened the doormen and told them he would shoot them.

“Mr Dunbar is ex-military who has been to Afghanistan but said this has left him shocked,” said Ms Downing.

Nicholas Williams, defending, said a medical report showed Shacklady had alcohol and depression problems.

He was sorry, embarrassed and deeply ashamed of what he had done and since the incident had completely abstained from drinking.

Although separated from his partner, he regularly saw his two children and was hoping to get a new job soon.

The “gun” had been a child’s plastic toy and was incapable of being fired.
Judge Philip Hughes said: “You brandished a plastic gun, which was obviously a toy, but in the dark no doubt it looked like it was a real pistol. You went to a bar in Holywell and were refused entry, went away and came back with this imitation pistol which you pointed at the doormen and caused them considerable alarm an anxiety.”

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