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Tuesday, 29 July 2014

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Man had gun outside Carlisle superstore, court told

A man who turned up at a Carlisle superstore with a gun stuffed down his trousers has been given a suspended prison sentence.

The city’s Crown Court heard how frightened staff and shoppers called the police after they spotted 49-year-old Mark Simon Lester sitting on a bench outside the Tesco store at Rosehill on August 2 last year.

At one stage Lester – who was “clearly drunk, with his head flopping about” – pulled the gun out and started “messing with the mechanism”, prosecuting barrister Andrew Downie told the court.

After his arrest the gun turned out to be an air pistol. Although it was not loaded Lester had several pellets in his pocket.

Lester, who lives in a flat in Aglionby Street, Carlisle, pleaded guilty to unlawfully possessing the gun and ammunition in a public place.

He also admitted carrying a lock-knife, which was found on him when he was searched at the police station.

Passing sentence, the judge, Recorder Abigail Hudson, said that although the gun was not capable of killing anyone it was “a scary, frightening and intimidating article.”

Lester was given an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for two years and put under two years probation supervision.

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