A MAN who sparked alarm when seen outside a hotel with a replica sub-machine gun was “more akin to Buzz Lightyear than Al Capone”, a court heard.

Penrith’s Premier Inn, close to the town centre, was locked down and firearms officers were drafted in after an eyewitness reported Robin William Hunter being in possession of the imitation MP5 weapon on the afternoon of March 12.

Hunter, 49, was sat a table outside the hotel, where one employee knew him as “military man” due to combat clothing he wore when visiting for breakfast.

“Next to him were a couple of bags,” said prosecutor Tim Evans. “Next to a black holdall-type bag was a gun.”

This “airsoft” MP5 replica sub-machine gun, capable of firing low-powered projectiles, was unloaded, deactivated and lying on a table.

Carlisle Crown Court heard how, at the time, Hunter was using hotel wifi to post videos of himself online.

These were filmed in a nearby supermarket car park while he wore masks and held items, including fake firearms.

He told police who found the replica sub-machine gun at his nearby home it was a “only a toy”.

The hotel manager advised by police to lock hotel doors “did feel frightened”, Mr Evans said, and “concerned for the safety of individuals inside”.

However, Tarim Khawam, defending Hunter - who admitted imitation firearm possession - said to Judge James Adkin: “You are dealing, I would submit, with someone more akin to Buzz Lightyear than Al Capone.”

Mr Khawam added: “There was no real element of intent.

“He plainly makes no threat to any individual.”

Judge Adkin heard of the defendant’s mental illness, which was being controlled, and “significant progress made in the community”

As a result, Judge Adkin suspended a six-month jail term for a year.

He also ordered Hunter of Champion Way, Penrith, to complete rehabilitation as part of a community order.