Devon

Joshua Claxton shot Exeter shopper with air rifle

A teenager took "pot shots" at shoppers with an air rifle in Exeter city centre to show off to friends, a court heard.

Joshua Claxton, 19, of Hamlin Gardens, shot Alan Tozer on the shoulder when he fired the rifle from a homeless hostel.

He told police he wanted to "shake people up a bit" but thought he would miss, Exeter Crown Court heard.

Claxton admitted possessing an air gun with intent to cause fear of violence and was given a three month curfew and ordered to attend an alcohol course.

They are part of 12 month supervision order.

'Freak them out'

The court heard Claxton shot Mr Tozer, who was walking along King William Street, from a first floor window at the Hennis Project.

Mr Alistair Verheijen, prosecuting, said Mr Tozer felt a sharp pain and suffered breaking and reddening of the skin and bruising.

Claxton told police he had been shooting at strangers to "shake them up a bit and freak them out" but thought his aim was so bad he was bound to miss, the court was told.

Judge Erik Salomonsen said: "You are 19 and taking the wrong path.

"If you continue you will find yourself in custody and serving longer and longer sentences."

Mr Nigel Wraith, defending, said Claxton is an unemployed painter and decorator who accepts he acted foolishly and was trying to impress friends at the hostel at the time.

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