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Wroxham man pointed gun at partner in argument over money, court told

07:00 12 February 2014

copyright of Archant © 2010 01603 772434

A man pointed an air rifle at his partner during an argument over the equity in their house, a court has heard.

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Marcus Hall, 53, of Church Lane, Wroxham, appeared at Norwich Crown Court to be sentenced after previously pleading guilty to affray on October 21 last year.

The court heard that an argument started between Hall and his partner over money and how much equity she had in the property.

Hall then pointed an air rifle at his partner. She was shielded by her daughter who “put herself between” the defendant and her mother, thinking that he would not shoot her but he might shoot her mother.

Sentencing Hall yesterday to a 16-month sentence suspended for two years, Judge Stephen Holt described the relationship between the defendant and his partner as “poisonous” and warned that if it continued, as they both wanted it to, he might be back in court. He said: “It’s quite obvious to me that the relationship between you and her is poisonous and you’re destroying each other.”

Judge Holt, who said it was not his role nor the courts to judge relationships, added: “I’m told your partner does not want a restraining order and you don’t want a restraining order and it appears you want the relationship to continue.

“I suspect if it does continue you may well be back in court in due course, but that’s a matter for you.”

Hall was told “anyone that uses a firearm to frighten another member of the public has to expect immediate custody”, but Judge Holt said although it would have been simple to send him off to prison nothing would have been done to help sort out the issues.

He said it was in the best interests of the public that Hall tried to learn from the incident and so suspended the jail sentence. Hall was also ordered to complete a two-year supervision order, undertake a building better relationships programme and carry out 100 hours of unpaid work in the community. Forfeiture and destruction of the gun was also ordered.

Michael Clare, mitigating, said Hall was of previous good character and was essentially a “hard-working, decent man whose relationship has got into difficulty”.

He said the weapon “had happened to be in his hand when the argument developed”.

He added that it was not as if he had gone to fetch a weapon to bring it to the argument.

Have you got a crime story? Call Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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