Man with rifle sent police running for cover

PUBLISHED: 06:30 05 June 2020

Archive photograph of armed police officers Picture; Matthew Usher.

Archive photograph of armed police officers Picture; Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2012

Police ran for cover and called for armed support when a man pointed a rifle at them as they were checking on his safety, a court heard.

Officers were called to the home of 58-year-old Joseph Bradley after members of his family contacted them worried about his welfare.

However, when they arrived at his home on Podmore Lane, Scarning, Bradley grabbed an air rifle from his cabinet and pointed it at them, sending them running for cover.

At a sentencing hearing at Norwich Crown Court on Thursday, prosecutor Andrew Jackson told the court that Bradley’s brother David Bradley was already at the home, having also gone to check on his brother on Sunday February 23.

But he was momentarily out of the room when police arrived, at which point Bradley grabbed the air rifle from his cabinet and pointed it at the officers.

Mr Jackson said: “He told the police to go away and got up from his chair, went into a cabinet where there was a number of rifles, before selecting one of them. It was a realistic-looking weapon, although it was unloaded and the safety switch was in the on position.

“He held the rifle in the firing position and pointed it towards the officers, who ran scared for their own safety and for cover.”

The returning Mr Bradley was then able to disarm his brother, who was visibly distressed and aggravated before being arrested, with the incident prompting an armed response from other officers.

Bradley spent six weeks in prison awaiting his hearing before entering a guilty plea at another court hearing.

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Rob Pollington, mitigating, said Bradley suffered from mental health difficulties and “low moods” which had reached “a particularly low ebb” on the day in question.

He added: “He cannot for the life of him begin to explain his decision. He understands the gravity of this case and feels responsible for his action. His idiocy has led to a reaction of fear from officers and wasted their time.”

Judge Maureen Bacon handed Bradley an 18-month jail sentence, suspended for 18 months. He is also required to do 30 days of rehabilitation activity and 15 hours of unpaid work.

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