Gun prank man jailed

Taking aim: Adam Boyce is photographed by rangers as he points a weapon at them in Thrybergh Country Park.
Taking aim: Adam Boyce is photographed by rangers as he points a weapon at them in Thrybergh Country Park.

ON a sunny day in a crowded South Yorkshire park a teenager calmly raises a gun, points it at park rangers in a boat on a lake - and fires.

Luckily for the terrified rangers who had nowhere to hide from the ‘gunman’ the weapon in the hands of 19-year-old Adam Boyce was an imitation. Unluckily for Boyce the stupid ‘prank’ earned him a three-year stretch in prison.

Boyce, from Low Road, Conisborough, Doncaster, was found guilty of possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.

He was sentenced to three years at Sheffield Crown Court.

The incident happened at Thrybergh Country Park where a group of young people had gathered to enjoy the sunny weather.

While park rangers were in a dinghy on the lake, Boyce was seen pointing what appeared to be a handgun and fired it in the direction of the rangers. Loud ‘bangs’ were heard and the rangers were concerned not only for their safety, but the safety of the other young people and visitors to the park. The rangers took a photo of the incident on April 22 and police from the local Safer Neighbourhood Team were able to identify Boyce and arrest him.

At court, Boyce claimed that he had found the handgun, which he described as a cap gun, in the park and although it was never recovered by police, officers believe it was more likely to have been a BB gun.

Following the trial, PC Hassan Ali, the investigating officer from Wentworth South Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “We will not tolerate anyone causing fear and distress to innocent people.

“Boyce believed he was having ‘a bit of fun’ by pointing and shooting the imitation handgun at the rangers.

“However, for the park’s staff, this was a terrifying ordeal for them, worried that their lives and the lives of others may be in danger.

“I hope anyone who thinks playing with these types of weapons in public is a ‘bit of fun’, takes note of this three-year prison sentence and realises that this was not a funny prank.

“If anyone is caught copying this disgusting behaviour, they will be arrested and prosecuted.”