Teenager waved fake gun at couple and threatened to shoot them over £120 debt to his friend

Ryan Miller was sentencted to 27 months in a young offenders institution. Picture: Norfolk Constabul

Ryan Miller was sentencted to 27 months in a young offenders institution. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary - Credit: Norfolk Constabulary

A teenager waved an imitation gun at a couple in Norwich and threatened to shoot them over a £120 debt owed to his friend, a court heard.

Ryan Miller, 19, approached the couple, who were in their car, near Lord Nelson Drive, in Costessey, holding the imitation gun and later got the driver to repay some of the cash owed after escorting him to a cashpoint, Norwich Crown Court heard.

William Carter, prosecuting, said Miller told the couple that the gun was loaded and he was going to shoot them and said Miller was holding the weapon so it could clearly be seen by the couple: 'They were petrified and believed that the gun was real.'

He said the couple drove off to get away and planned to go to police headquarters at Wymondham to report the matter, however Miller, who was a passenger in another car, followed them along the A47 and A11, and when the driver eventually pulled over, he got him to take money from a cashpoint.

As soon as Miller was handed the cash and left, the victim phoned police and reported the matter.

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Mr Carter said after Miller was arrested and bailed he then tried to get one witness to change his story and also threatened another person in the case that he would burn his car out.

Miller, of Elizabeth Fry Road, Eaton, admitted possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence on September 26, last year, and attempting to pervert the course of justice and sending a malicious communication and was given 27 months custody.

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Sentencing him, Judge Katharine Moore told Miller: 'It seems it all stems from some form of childish disagreement.'

She said it was not even his argument or his debt.

She said it was a serious matter that he produced a weapon in a public place and said: 'You were seeking to enforce repayment of a debt.'

However she gave him credit for his plea and accepted he was struggling to cope at the time.

Gavin Cowe, for Miller, said the weapon was a BB gun and the offences came at a time when Miller was struggling with issues in his life.

'The stresses and strains of a 19-year-old all got on top of him and he reacted in this way.'

He added: 'He was foolish to say the least in the way he went about getting the money back.'

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