A YOUNG couple waiting for a train on Colne station were confronted by a man who produced an air pistol from his rucksack.

Blackburn magistrates heard the couple had expected Peter Templar to take flowers out of his bag after they had seen him with some blooms and he made comments to them about "young love."

Templar, 48, of Cragg Street, Colne, pleaded guilty to possessing an air weapon in a public place.

He was made subject to a community order for 24 months with a mental health treatment requirement and 15 days rehabilitation activity requirement. He was fined £10 and ordered to pay £85 costs and £95 victim surcharge.

Adam Boney, prosecuting, said Miss Kayleigh Grundy was on Colne railway station just after 9pm with her partner who was due to catch a train.

Templar was on the platform and they saw him put some plastic, pink flowers in his rucksack before going to the ticket machine.

He came back to them and asked for a light which her partner provided.

"He seemed very erratic and started to make comments about young love and how her partner was a lucky guy," said Mr Boney.

"He made other comments about her being beautiful and she felt very uncomfortable."

Mr Boney said Templar then took his bag off his back and opened it and the couple expected him to bring out the pink flowers.

"Instead he pulled out a hand gun," said Mr Boney.

"He started to laugh and said I bet you weren't expecting that. He said the flowers were a decoy and he was going to rob a bank in Preston."

Mr Boney said the gun was never pointed at Miss Grundy and her partner but she had felt genuine fear about what the defendant might do. When he put the weapon back in his bag they left the station and called the police.

Salina Akhtar, defending, said when Templar first appeared in court he had just been discharged from a mental health unit.

"He is extremely remorseful," said Miss Akhtar.

"He had no intention of causing fear but fully understands the position he put these people in. He is now receiving mental health treatment in the community."