A pensioner who threatened to blow a council worker’s head off with a shotgun after losing his temper on the phone has been given a community order.
William Young was already under a suspended sentence after brandishing a knife at staff at the One Stop shop in Almondbury earlier this year, when he committed his latest offence.
Jeremy Lindsay, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court Young had learning difficulties and mental health issues which meant the local authority managed his finances for him. He was also a chronic alcoholic.
On June 30 around 10.30am he called Kirklees Council and was put through to finance assistant Jenny Dyson.
He said he was having a problem with his washing machine and that water was flooding his property and told her someone had better get there to sort it out.
He said he wanted it taken back and wanted another one. Mr Lindsay said she was aware that Young had sold his previous washing machine and started to ask where he had got it from.
But he started swearing saying someone had better fix it adding: “I’m fed up with this.”
He was asking to speak to her team manager Neil Smith and continued being aggressive although briefly calmed down when he confirmed he had got his money as expected the previous Saturday.
But when she told him she was not putting him through to Mr Smith, Young told her: “I’m going to get a shotgun. I’ll wait for you after work outside and blow your head off.”
Mr Lindsay said Ms Dyson felt shaken and frightened by what he had said and was aware he had previously threatened staff with a knife. The police were informed.
He said Young was given an eight month prison sentenced suspended for 18 months at Leeds Crown Court in May for possessing a bladed article.
That conviction arose from when he went into the One Stop shop in Fernside Avenue, Almondbury, at 10.30am on January 28 this year.
At first he stood in the doorway shouting, clearly in drink but then he approached the counter and asked if he was still barred.
He then pointed at one member of staff and said: “Was it you who barred me?”
There were two members of staff present and they tried to calm him down but he continued shouting and produced a kitchen knife between six to eight inches long from inside his jacket pocket.
He said to one of the staff: “I could use it on you, you’re a liar.” That person pressed the panic alarm scared by his behaviour but he did then calm down and left the shop but he then walked to Folly Hall to see his mental health care worker and while in the waiting area told others he had a knife and showed it to them.
They reported it to staff who contacted the police and when they arrived the knife was seized from him.
Sam Andrews, representing Young, said his client was someone with considerable problems. He realised the council assistant would have been frightened by his comment but he had no access to a shotgun and had spoken out of frustration.
Young, of Fernside Court, Almondbury, admitted sending a malicious communication and was given 12 month community order with a 30 day activity programme.
Recorder Euan Duff warned him the suspended sentence would also still continue and said: “This seems to me a sensible option.”
He told Young: “Try and think first when you get frustrated while dealing with people. Count to 10. It was very upsetting for the lady what happened on the phone, very upsetting when you talk about a shotgun. I appreciate you have got problems but you have got to think about what you say.”