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Maulds Meaburn man jailed for party peacemaker shotgun threat

image copyrightCumbria Police
image captionMalcolm Newby admitted two counts of possessing a firearm

A former navy serviceman who threatened a party peacemaker with two shotguns before firing one inches from the man's face has been jailed for 45 months.

Malcolm Newby got "extremely drunk" at a party and left after throwing a toy block at his wife, Carlisle Crown Court heard.

A partygoer tried to calm Newby at his nearby home, but Newby, 52, aimed the guns at him, one of which was fired.

Newby admitted possessing firearms with intent to cause fear of violence.

The court heard Newby, of Low Lankaber in Maulds Meaburn, had helped organise the party for a neighbour on 12 July.

He was escorted home by the neighbour's 20-year-old brother, who shook his hand and asked him to call it a night.

'Sheer good luck'

But as the man gave Newby's distressed daughter a comforting hug, Newby returned to his doorstep with two legally-held double-barrelled shotguns.

A struggle ensued and one of the shotguns was fired close to the younger man's face, the court heard.

Kim Whittlestone, mitigating, presented 19 character references and spoke of Newby's loyal service to the navy and local community.

She also described the huge stress he had been under while working at Center Parcs, reintroducing staff after the Covid-19 lockdown.

"Things appear to have gone awry on that particular day and he reacted in an unreasonable and irrational way," Ms Whittlestone said, adding: "He is extremely remorseful and wishes to apologise to [the victim] for his behaviour."

Judge David Potter said it was "through sheer good luck" the shotgun fired into the ceiling otherwise the man could have been killed or seriously injured.

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