Teenage dad admits shooting BB guns in Exmouth car park

PUBLISHED: 14:29 22 February 2018 | UPDATED: 10:39 23 February 2018

Exeter Magistrates' Court.

Exeter Magistrates' Court.

Archant

A teenage dad who fired BB guns at cans in an Exmouth car park has been given a community order.

Joshua Anthony Chapman, 19, admitted two charges of possessing a loaded/unloaded air weapon in a public place on September 6 last year.

Prosecutor Lyndsey Baker told Exeter Magistrates’ Court this morning (February 22) that Chapman had met a group of friends in the car park outside Home Bargains at Liverton Business Park late at night.

Ms Baker said a security guard who was patrolling the estate heard shots upon entering the car park.

She added: “He heard multiple shots and contacted police.

“The shots changed from single to rapid fire and seemed to strike the side of the Home Bargains store.”

The court heard police arrived at the scene where Chapman admitted he and others had been firing at the cans.

Two guns - a CO2-powered Heckler and Koch MP5K .177mm calibre air rifle and a CO2 powered Smith and Wesson M&P40 .177 calibre air pistol - were seized by police, as well as three magazines and ball bearings.

Ms Baker told the bench that the weapons had a ‘lethal capacity’.

In a police interview, Chapman said he never intended to harm anyone.

Chapman, representing himself, said: “It was just a one-time thing – it was us being stupid.”

A probation report heard Chapman, of Rifford Road in Exeter, was heading out with his friends and picked up a backpack containing the weapons as he was leaving.

The court heard that, since the incident, Chapman had recently became a father.

Addressing the bench, Chapman said: “It was a sheer accident that I grabbed my bag and had it on me at the time.

“My friend had the cans in the car and that was it.”

Chapman told magistrates he was not bothered that the guns had been seized and shooting the cans was ‘just a bit of fun’.

Passing sentence, chair magistrate Brian Balsdon said: “This was a very foolish act on your part which we have to address.”

Chapman was given a 12-month community order with a 15-day rehabilitation requirement. He was also ordered to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work and pay £120 costs.

A forfeiture and destruction order was made on the guns and ammunition.


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