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Saturday, 19 April 2014

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I was an idiot, admits man who took gun into Carlisle nightclub

A man who took a gun to a Carlisle nightclub admitted later that he had been “acting like an idiot”, the city’s Crown Court heard.

Keiran Cleminson, 20, strolled up to the Kiss club in Englishgate Plaza, off Botchergate, with the semi-automatic air pistol in a white carrier bag.

When door superviser Margaret Fawcett challenged him about it he walked away and she called the police.

They arrested him – drunk – in Botchergate shortly afterwards, still with 13 pellets in the gun, which had its safety catch off. By then he had also been taking pot shots at a waste bin in the car park outside the Big Al’s sports bar, damaging it under a fusillade of about 30 pellets.

Prosecutor Becky McGregor told the court that when Cleminson was arrested he was also found with a silver Stanley knife in his jacket pocket.

Officers also noticed that he still had the packaging that the gun had come in.

It told him: “Do not brandish or display in public.”

Cleminson, of Currock Road, Carlisle, pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm and ammunition in a public place, carrying a knife in a public place and causing criminal damage to the waste bin.

The court heard that after his arrest Cleminson – who used to work for the city’s B&M Bargains store until being sacked because of this incident – told police he knew he had been “acting like an idiot” after buying the gun for £99 earlier in the day. He said he had been in the pub all day, so had not had time to take the gun home.

In mitigation, defence advocate Anthony Wilson told the court: “If he didn’t realise the seriousness of the situation at the time he certainly realises it now.”

He said Cleminson was not a sophisticated criminal, but a “naïve and foolish” man who had made a “childish mistake”.

He said he had defied B&M instructions by taking home the knife he used at work and had forgotten he still had it in his pocket when he was arrested.

Cleminson was given a 16-week prison sentence, suspended for a year, and ordered to do 200 hours unpaid community work.

He was also put under an 8pm to 7am curfew for the next 12 weeks and made to pay £500 court costs, with £10 compensation for the waste bin. The gun and the knife will be destroyed.

Judge Barbara Forrester told him: “Why you took the gun around with you and ended up shooting outside one of the pubs, goodness only knows.”

She said that if he had actually threatened anyone with the knife or the gun he would have gone straight to prison.

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