Wisbech man denies making gun threats during Hunstanton disturbance

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A man has denied pointing an air rifle at a group of people involved in a disturbance outside a Hunstanton kebab shop.

Simon Sparrow, 44, of Walton Road, Wisbech, today told a jury at King’s Lynn Crown Court that he had only had carried the weapon after grabbing it from a friend.

But prosecutors later accused him of tailoring his account in response to the case they were making against him.

Sparrow is charged with possessing a firearm with intent to cause others to believe that immediate unlawful violence would be used against them

The case relates to an incident in Hunstanton in the early hours of May 10 last year.

The jury of eight women and four men has already heard evidence claiming that Sparrow had pointed the weapon at several people outside the shop and said: “You’re dead. I’m going to shoot. I’ll shoot.”

However, Sparrow’s legal team suggested he had been punched by at least one member of the group as he left the shop.

During his closing statement this afternoon, defence barrister Hugh Vass reminded the court of his client’s testimony, in which he claimed he had only taken possession of the gun after grabbing it from his friend, William Reeve.

He also maintained that he had only intended to put it back in a van parked outside the takeaway.

But prosecuting counsel Daniel Taylor said Mr Reeve, who was called to give evidence in Sparrow’s defence, had supported prosecution witnesses’ accounts that Sparrow had been holding the gun and making threats.

He told the court that another witness, Elliot Wilson, had picked out Sparrow during an identification parade while other witnesses’ accounts provided a consistent description of the man involved, even though two of them were unable to pick Sparrow in an identifcation procedure.

And he described Sparrow’s account of the incident as “evasive, inconsistent and unreliable”, pointing out that he had both declined to report the alleged assault on him and answer questions on the incident during two police interviews.

He added: “We say he didn’t want the police sniffing around because he knew full well he had threatened somebody with a gun.”

However, Mr Vass said police evidence that was read to the court supported Sparrow’s claim that he had been attacked.

And although he insisted his client was not relying on such a defence, he suggested the alleged threats may not be illegal if he believed he was acting in self-defence.

Mr Vass also pointed out that Mr Reeve had a number of previous convictions for dishonesty and jurors would have to decide for themselves whether he was telling the truth or not.

The case continues.