He thumped his bare chest and did star jumps – and then he shot at me

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A man has been banned from having any contact with his neighbours after he shot at them with an air rifle.

Mencap worker Stephen Wicks was described as ‘losing it’ running around his garden beating his bare chest and doing star jumps.

Magistrates heard the 50-year-old from The Street, Fornham St Martin, had earlier sworn at neighbours Nicholas and Rachel McCall who had guests including young children, round for a bonfire night barbecue.

He then fired a single air rifle shot from his balcony, which whistled past Mr McCall and his father Peter, the Bury court was told.

Wicks had denied both offences, saying he had been shouting for his cat Kato when Mr McCall told him to ‘shut up’.

“I was upset and provoked. I can’t understand why they were shouting at me each time I shouted for Kato,” he said.

Wicks then described how he got his air rifle out to shoot a pigeon in one of his trees.

But presiding magistrate John Ankers said although Wicks was of previous good character, his ‘account’ of what happened, ‘lacked credibility.’

“Your account of shooting the pigeon was implausible in the extreme,” Mr Ankers said.

Giving evidence, Nicholas McCall said told how guests were in the garden at around 7.30pm when Wicks began running up and down the garden ‘swearing profusely’ before hauling himself up onto a six foot fence.

Mr McCall sent his children indoors. “I didn’t want my children to see anybody behave like that,” he said.

He went upstairs to check on his children who were upset and said he then saw Wicks out of his window.

“He seemed to have lost it. He was pounding on his chest and running around the garden. He was bare chested.”

In a statement to police Mr McCall also described seeing Wicks doing star jumps.

As he and his father tidied up the barbecue they described a ‘whooshing noise’ and realised they had been shot at, he said.

Wicks was sentenced to a conditional discharge for one year, while a restraining order made for two years, bans him from having any contact with either the McCalls, or the other guests who gave evidence at the trial on Wednesday.

Wicks must also pay £625 costs while his gun and pellets have been forfeited.