Man jailed over pointing firearm at officers in Bexhill
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A man has been jailed after he confronted police officers and aimed a firearm at them as they responded to a 999 call in Bexhill.
Tactical Firearms Unit officers fired a baton round in the back garden of 49-year-old Paul Chantler in order to safely detain him.
He had made threats to harm himself with a firearm, and when police arrived he shouted threats to “stay away” as he retreated into his shed.
Chantler twice pointed the weapon at officers, who feared being seriously harmed.
But in order to ensure the safety of themselves, of Chantler, and of the public, the officers fired a baton round, a form of rubber bullet, in order to make the arrest.
Only later did the officers find out that the suspect was brandishing an air rifle.
Chantler, of York Road, Bexhill, admitted two counts of assaulting a police officer and one count of possessing a dangerous air weapon without a certificate when he appeared at Lewes Crown Court.
He was found not guilty of possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.
Judge Mark Van Der Zwart sentenced him to a total of six months in prison over the incident which happened on March 24, 2019.
The judge said it was an extremely serious incident, and said the officers were brave men and women doing a dangerous job.
The officers had been compassionate and caring, and displayed a firm sense of duty, the judge said.