Man pulled out gun in Essex pub

PUBLISHED: 17:14 09 October 2008 | UPDATED: 21:35 31 May 2010

A SAFFRON Walden man who threatened a publican with a Second World War pistol after a row over his dog being barred from the Axe pub in Ashdon Road has been jailed for two years. Ernest Duncan, 64, of Guildhall Way, Ashdon, pleaded guilty to possessing th

A SAFFRON Walden man who threatened a publican with a Second World War pistol after a row over his dog being barred from the Axe pub in Ashdon Road has been jailed for two years.

Ernest Duncan, 64, of Guildhall Way, Ashdon, pleaded guilty to possessing the gun with intent to cause bar manager, Ian Hughes, who spotted him with the gun, to believe violence would be used and to possessing ammunition without a certificate. He had previously been involved in an incident in which a gun was discharged in his house.

Jailing Duncan at Chelmsford Crown Court on Monday Judge Roger Hayward Smith told him: "The law takes an extremely serious view of people who resort to the use of firearms, particularly if they're loaded. You didn't discharge it. Nevertheless you used it in a way to frighten the bar manager who was concerned for the safety of other people."

The court was told that the latest incident happened when Duncan had gone to the pub on a summer's afternoon this year.

Prosecutor Paul Evans said Duncan had been at the pub with his Alsatian dog off a lead. He had asked if he could take his dog into the pub but landlord Darren Oliver told him he couldn't "because they were serving food".

When he was then asked about 10 minutes later to get his dog out of the pub, Mr Evans said that Duncan picked up his pint and turned it upside down on the bar and was then asked by Mr Oliver to leave.

Mr Evans said that Duncan had replied: "Yes, I am going to leave, you fat b*****d."

He had left the pub but Mr Oliver then got into his car and drove after him along Ashdon Road and when he caught up with him informed him he was barred from going back to the pub.

The court was told, though, that that evening Mr Oliver became aware Duncan was outside and staff closed the doors.

It was then that he was spotted with the gun by Mr Hughes.

Mr Evans said: "He (Duncan) lifted up his T-shirt and revealed a black pistol tucked into his shorts."

Duncan later admitted it was his father's old Second World War firearm and that afterwards he had hidden it in a neighbouring garden.

Defending counsel, Lyall Thompson, who described Duncan as a "gentleman" said that Duncan had "misunderstood" that his dog was only kept out when food was being served but would have been allowed in when it had finished being served.

Friends of Duncan, his ex-wife and an ex-partner were present in court to support him and Mr Thompson told the judge that what had happened was "out of character".

However, Judge Hayward Smith said he was concerned about a previous incident when Duncan had "discharged a gun inside

his house" and had previously attempted suicide. He ordered the gun and ammunition to be forfeited.


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