Man wanted to be shot by police rather than lose his dog
A MAN was so devastated that he could have to leave his dog when he moved accommodation, that he wanted to get the police to shoot him.
Russell Williamson dialled 999 and said he had an air rifle and wanted a fire-fight so police would kill him.
Officers armed with Tasers rushed to Williamson’s former home on Hollams Road, Tewkesbury, on March 7 at about 8.30pm.
Gloucester Crown Court heard police surrounded his property after they got the call before ringing the doorbell.
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Prosecutor Robert Duval said police saw him coming down the stairs with a long-barrelled weapon in hand.
Officers ordered he put it down and open the door, but Williamson shouted incoherent abuse back at them before he opened the door.
The 50-year-old pointed the air rifle’s barrel directly at PC Adrian Cole, who tried to Taser him, but his weapon failed.
Back up officers fired Tasers at Williamson before he was arrested.
Mr Duval said on arrest Williamson smelt of liquor, was unhelpful to police and a search of his home revealed he had been shooting items in the living room. He told the court: “He had been asked to leave his flat and if he was re-housed he would not have been able to take his beloved dog with him.
“He thought he would kill himself, but could not bring himself to do it.
“He failed. He couldn’t turn the gun on himself so he wanted to use the police to do it.”
Defending, Belinda Ariss said: “He fully accepts the prosecution’s case and the fear he caused that police officer and he is deeply sorry.
“He bought it to shoot rabbits on a friend’s farm and generally an air rifle doesn’t need a certificate, but unbeknown to him it had its velocity increased.
“He clearly was not thinking straight – he was smoking cannabis, he was drinking to excess.
“He is extremely sorry and knows the position he finds himself in today.”
Judge William Hart said it must have been “extremely frightening” for the police involved.
He sent him to jail for 27 months after Williamson pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence and possessing a firearm without a certificate or authorisation to do so.
He told the court on Monday: “I commend the bravery of all the officers that attend, who knew what they could be facing, and in particularly PC Adrian Cole.
“Tasers sometimes get bad press, but this is a good example of the value of Tasers and how they bought about a peaceful solution.”
Chief Inspector Steve Porter said: “We are proud of all of our officers within the Tewkesbury Policing area and how they respond to difficult situations in their every day work.
“It’s always pleasing when one such occasion is highlighted by the courts.”