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Rossendale gunman jailed
1:00pm Sunday 11th August 2013 in News
A DRUNKEN gunman who terrorised and assaulted an innocent passer-by in an early hours attack in Rossendale, has been jailed for three years four months.
Burnley Crown Court heard how Gary Dawson feared 'immediate death' when Jordan Proctor pointed the pistol at his face from 10 inches away, after hitting him with the weapon as he cowered in front of him.
Prosecutor David Macro said: "Mr Dawson started to pray for his life, believing he would be shot."
Proctor, 23, who has a record for violence from 2009 when he was a cocaine addict, had been bingeing on neat vodka.
He was said to have been on his way to the home of his good friend, Royal Marine Wesley Clutterbuck with the firearm on May 18, and flew into a rage when he found Mr Clutterbuck had locked up and gone to bed.
The gun turned out to be an air weapon, which wasn't loaded, but Mr Dawson didn't know that and thought his last moments had come.
Mr Dawson's friend Oliver Varley, who had been with him when they were confronted on Eastgate, had ducked behind a parked car when Proctor waved the gun at them.
The hearing was told Mr Clutterbuck, 19, was killed just weeks later on June 29, when he was struck a single blow in Rochdale town centre. His death was said to have had a sobering effect on the defendant.
Proctor, of Thorburn Drive, Whitworth, admitted using a firearm to commit an offence and assault causing actual bodily harm.
David Macro, prosecuting, said Proctor arrived at his mother's home at 2.10am and she told him to go to sleep on the settee.
He then went into his mother's bedroom, took a plastic bag from a cupboard and when his mother asked what it was, he told her it was a gun. The defendant then left the house by smashing the kitchen window and climbing out.
Mr Macro said Mr Dawson and Mr Varley were on their way home from a night out and were laughing and joking.
Proctor shouted over: "What's the matter with you?" They walked on, the defendant shouted abuse after them and the victim stopped and faced the defendant.Proctor pulled the gun out and hit Mr Dawson in the face. The victim went to the ground and the defendant stood over him and hit his head again. Mr Varley ran to a nearby house to raise the alarm. Proctor then pointed the pistol at Mr Dawson. The victim believed he blacked out.
Police arrived and the defendant ran away, but was caught nearby. He had discarded the pistol in grass nearby. A case for the air weapon, some pellets and a laser were found at his mother's home. Hilary Manley, for Proctor, said he had been given the air pistol some months earlier by a friend. It didn't work, he wasn't interested in it and he put it in a cupboard at his mother's.
He went to see Mr Clutterbuck to catch up as he was home on leave from the Royal Marines and Proctor said he would give him the pistol. Proctor staggered back to his mother's, but in the meantime, Mr Clutterbuck had gone to bed. The defendant was annoyed when he returned and got no reply at Mr Clutterbuck's home and turned his anger on Mr Dawson.
Miss Manley added: "He had nothing against Gary Dawson. He concedes it must have been a terrifying incident."
Sentencing, Recorder Stephen Bedford said: "The victim thought his last day had come. He wasn't to know it was an air pistol and his victim impact statement details graphically how much impact your behaviour that night has had upon him."
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