Driver terrified women with fake gun at petrol station “for a bit of fun”

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A driver terrified two women by pointing a fake handgun at them on a petrol station forecourt “for a bit of fun”, a court heard.

The two woman were left distressed after Pawel Wierzbicki approached them as they sat in the back of a car and pointed the imitation weapon at them before saying “bang.”

Leeds Crown Court heard the incident happened around 11pm on July 8 this year.

Duncan Ritchie, prosecuting, said the women were passengers in a car being driven by one of their friends and had noticed Wierzbicki in a Fiat Punto when he pulled alongside them at traffic lights in Normanton, Wakefield.

Mr Ritchie said Wierzbicki kept looking over at the two young women and appeared to be flirting with them.

Wierzbicki, a pizza delivery driver, followed the car into a petrol station. Mr Ritchie said: “The defendant produced a handgun from his lap, He said ‘bang’ while moving the gun forwards.

“He held the gun a few seconds more then drove away at speed.”

The fake gun was also fitted with a laser in the barrel.

The driver of their car then drove off but Wierzbicki approached them again on Willowbridge Lane, Castleford.

The prosecutor said the defendant drove at them head-on with his hazard lights flashing, causing them to swerve on to the pavement to avoid a collision.

Police arrested Wierzbicki in his car in a lay-by on Pontefract Road later that night.

He told officers he had found the imitation weapon in a river while fishing but said he had thrown it away.

Mr Ritchie said: “He told officers it was meant to be a bit of fun.”

The court heard the two women and the driver had all suffered from sleepless night and anxiety as a result of the incident.

Wierzbicki, of Mill Hill Lane, Pontefract, pleaded guilty to possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence and driving without due care and attention.

Robin Frieze, mitigating, said: “He fully accepts that they would have been terrified and makes no excuse.”

Wierzbicki was given a nine month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months. He was also ordered to do 100 hours unpaid work and had his licence endorsed with three points.

Judge James Spencer, QC, said: “Your idea of joke, a bit of fun, I’m afraid, is not acceptable.

“You cannot produce things that look like a gun and frighten them just for your own amusement.”