A gunman who was banned from possessing weapons has been jailed for 15 months after he fired an air rifle at a sign on a Sheffield street.
Andrew Beaumont, aged 31, frightened members of the public when he fired the weapon three times outside a shop in Pitsmoor, Sheffield Crown Court heard.
No-one was injured in the incident but a judge said members of the public were left scared by the incident.
Judge Roger Keen said: “You fired the weapon three times in a public street where people were present, thus exposing them to danger and frightening them.
“Fortunately no injury was caused and the damage was very minimal.
“The weapon was one that would normally be lawful but not in your case.
“You were prohibited from owning a weapon as an ex-prisoner but you obtained it as some sort of deterrent.”
The court heard Beaumont, of Osgathorpe Drive, Pitsmoor, Sheffield, had been addicted to crack cocaine and heroin but had managed to kicked his habits after seeking help.
Zaiban Alam, defending, said: “There is no suggestion that the weapon was being used to cause fear or intimidation. The target was a sign and he didn’t realise he could not possess the weapon.”
Miss Alam said Beaumont had sought help for his addictions and had been free of drugs since 2009.
She said: “He clearly was having a problem as far as alcohol is concerned. His daughter died of cot death and he turned to alcohol – it’s a significant problem.”
Miss Alam said Beaumont had sought help for his problems and had undergone an alcohol detox earlier this year.
She said he had been alcohol free for three months.
“This man is really trying. “His efforts are genuine, sustained and they are producing real and significant results.
“He is terrified at the prospect of going back to prison,” she added.
Beaumont, who has previous convictions for robbery and violent offences, admitted possessing the air rifle.
Jailing him, Judge Keen said he was giving Beaumont credit for his guilty plea and for the efforts that he had made to turn his life around.
He told him: “I’m conscious you are making considerable efforts to cope with your addictions.”