Judge sends Exmouth air pistol man to hospital under the Mental Health Act

PUBLISHED: 15:11 02 February 2018 | UPDATED: 15:11 02 February 2018

Exeter Crown Court. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref exeter crown court

Exeter Crown Court. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref exeter crown court

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Exmouth man, Kenneth Armour, aged 55, has been sent to hospital under the Mental Health Act after he admitted possession of a firearm and a bladed article; Armour was made subject of a hospital order with restriction on his release under the Mental Health Act by Judge Erik Salomonsen.

A man from Exmouth who threatened to shoot staff at a community centre with an air pistol has been sent to a mental health hospital.

Kenneth Armour, aged 55, of Church Street, Exmouth, was noticed to be acting irrationally before he left the Wellbeing Centre in Exeter; he returned with a knife and a gun.

Exeter Crown Court heard how he did not produce either weapon, and the gun was inside a zipped up case which was in a plastic carrier bag.

He was sent for treatment at the Langdon Hospital in Dawlish, after a judge at Exeter Crown Court was told he had a history of mental illness.

The court heard how Armour had been released from a short stay as an in-patient a week before the incident at the walk-in centre at King William Street, Exeter, on July 21 this year.

Armour admitted possession of a firearm and a bladed article and was made subject of a hospital order with restriction on his release under the Mental Health Act by Judge Erik Salomonsen.

The judge said: “It seems he has a fascination with knives and air weapons and has previous convictions for violence or one sort or another.

“One cannot predict whether his use of a weapon in the future, even if at the bottom of the scale, may cause harm.”

Miss Hollie Gilbery, prosecuting, said Armour went to the Wellbeing Centre at 10am and told one female member of staff to ‘stop breathing on him’.

The court was told Armour said he was going to get a gun and shoot her.

He returned with a carrier bag which he put on a table but did not open.

It was later found to contain an air weapon in a pouch with a box of pellets. Police found a lock knife in his denim jacket when he was arrested.

Mr Gareth Evans, defending, said Armour was living rough in a car on waste ground near Exeter at the time and said he bought the gun to shoot cans as target practice.

He said neither weapon was produced and the gun remained zipped in the pouch in which it came from the gun shop in Exeter.

Dr Nahul Talwar, of Langdon Hospital, said Armour suffers from schizophrenia but has responded well to treatment. He may represent a potential danger if unsupervised in the community.

He said his behaviour can be alarming if he is angry and he may cause fear, anxiety and psychological harm.

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