Devon

Masked gunman threatened to shoot children in Exeter

Sean Monger Image copyright Devon and Cornwall Police
Image caption Sean Monger threatened children with an AK-47 rifle

A masked gunman who threatened to shoot two schoolboys with an AK-47 outside a Tesco Express has been jailed.

Sean Monger, 51, wielded the deactivated assault rifle as he emerged from an alleyway clad in a hockey mask, balaclava and sunglasses.

He pointed the gun at the 11-year-olds' heads and ordered them to lie on the pavement, Exeter Crown Court heard.

Monger, who admitted weapons offences, was jailed for four years and six months.

The court heard Monger was carrying a backpack as he walked onto Cowick Street in Exeter on 14 November 2018.

Image copyright Devon and Cornwall Police
Image caption Monger wore a mask during the attack

After threatening the children, he pointed the Kalashnikov rifle at point-blank range at security guard Philip Weirs.

Mr Weirs managed to disarm him, even though he thought the weapon was real and loaded.

Monger, of Maple Road, bought the de-activated AK-47 on the internet and police found a hoard of other weapons at his flat including three tasers, two shock batons, four knives and three masks.

The court heard he was an alcoholic who was trying to get himself shot by police and who repeatedly shouted "I want to die" after he was disarmed.

Judge Timothy Rose told Monger: "For all the world, you presented yourself to others as a masked gunman, which is in effect what you were".

Image copyright Devon and Cornwall Police
Image caption Monger used a Kalashnikov rifle to threaten the children

The judge said he had been told of "the very considerable distress and enormous anxiety" Monger had inflicted on his victims.

"You threatened a group of 11-year-old schoolchildren with a rifle in your hand while shouting at them to get on the ground.

"The children thought you were about to shoot at them," he said.

The judge commended Mr Weirs for his bravery and courage and awarded him £1,000 from the Sheriff's Fund.

Monger pleaded guilty to using an imitation firearm to cause fear of violence and possession of prohibited weapons.

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