A WREXHAM man wept in the dock after being cleared of threatening to shoot several children with an air rifle.

Adam Millington, 27, of Church Street, Rhostellyn was found not guilty by the majority of the jury, which consisted of nine men and three women.

His Honour Judge Niclas Parry had given them a majority direction following the three day trial, after they had failed to reach a verdict they could all agree on after just over two hours of deliberation. However, it took them just over ten minutes for at least ten of the twelve to find Millington not guilty of all seven of the charges.

Millington faced four charges of possessing an offensive weapon, a .22 calibre Gamo Whisper air rifle, with the intent of causing fear of violence against four children, two for sexually assaulting girls under the age of 13 and another charge of attempted robbery against another boy.

The charges came out about after an incident on Saturday, May 25, this year when Millington had been accused of being drunk and making threats to shoot the children, including if they did not hit a football into the corner of the goal. The sexual assault charges related to when he was alleged to have touched the bum of one the girls while he helped her use the gun and for touching another girl on her lower back.

However, defence barrister, Matthew Curtis said his client had acted out of stupidity when he had approached the children while under the influence of alcohol, but that in his defence, a piece of the offence was missing, which was having any intent.

Mr Curtis said his client did not act in a way to bring about fear, but had instead been friendly towards the children and had only touched the two young girls in question after helping them fire the gun, because he believed they wouldn’t have known how to use the weapon, because “they were girls”. He denied the charge of attempted robbery, saying he had not asked the boy for his phone to steal it, but because he wanted to make sure he hadn’t been taking photographs of him that he could then share to the world via social media.

Millington denied ever threatening any of the children with the gun, but had instead accepted there may have been jokes, including when telling two children to get down from a steel container on the playing field. Mr Curtis suggested how Millington’s appearance, he had entered the field from woodland wearing a hi-vis jacket, might have “scared” the children into thinking he was a person in authority coming to tell them off for doing something wrong.

Mr Curtis said: “Why would he cause them fear? He had been joking with them and reassuring them, telling them that if he was going to shoot anyone, he would shoot himself.

“Both girls agreed to use the gun and they both seemed happy to go along with him.

“He was trying to be sound, trying to be cool. He was not inciting fear of violence.”

Mr Curtis went on to say that the children went on to follow Millington to a larger field on the site, and although he accepted it is unclear what went on in the tunnel that cuts underneath Waterside Way, but whatever happened, the children were able to get away and Millington carried on with his walk back to Coedpoeth. He added: “The children had followed him voluntarily.”