05:10PM, Thursday 15 March 2018
Two drug addicts were sentenced for possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear and violence today (Thursday).
The charges were brought after ‘three or four’ shots were fired in Stoke Road, Slough, on September 15.
Ryan Taylor, 19, of Mill Street, Slough, was handed two years and four months in prison for the weapons charge and two drug-related charges at Reading Crown Court.
Jamie Cassell, 27, of Wantage Road, Reading, was sentenced to 15 months for the firearms charge.
The court heard how Taylor, a heroin addict, bought the starting pistol from a shop in Windsor and scratched the orange paint off the top of the gun to make it look real.
He carried the gun for defence because he lived in fear of a drug-dealing gang he owed £800.
The gang forced Taylor to pay them back by selling Class-A drugs.
Police confiscated over 45 wraps of heroin and crack cocaine in three separate raids on his home and he feared the gang would kill him after police took the drugs they gave him to sell.
Taylor’s defence barrister, David Dainty, told the court a black Audi with tinted windows, which Taylor claimed contained armed gangsters, pulled up alongside Taylor and Cassell as they walked along Stoke Road.
According to Mr Dainty, Taylor pulled out his gun but was so terrified he dropped it.
He then picked it up and fired 'three or four' blanks over his shoulder as the pair ran away from the car.
Among the witnesses were an off-duty Metropolitan Police constable and her eight-year-old child.
The court heard was told the boy cried ‘mummy, mummy, they’ve got a gun’ as the shots were fired.
In his closing remarks, Judge Simon Oliver said: "On that occasion, I am told you were being chased by drug dealers and you ran away in fear.
"You both have drug habits and it is clear the control people had over you subsequent to the addiction."
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