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Norfolk landlord jailed for firing shotgun in air and telling tenants they had five minutes to leave

PUBLISHED: 08:09 06 September 2016 | UPDATED: 16:21 07 September 2016

Police were called after a woman was slapped around the face in North Walsham. Picture: James Bass

Police were called after a woman was slapped around the face in North Walsham. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2014

A landlord, who was said to have "lost control", fired his 12 bore shotgun in the air before telling his tenants they had five minutes to leave, a court heard.

Marcus Strong, 64, flew into a rage and after firing shots into the air, approached a couple who were renting a mobile home in the grounds of his home in Gunthorpe Lane, Briningham, Melton Constable, Norwich Crown Court heard.

Chris Youell, prosecuting, said the couple, who were both in their 60s, were told by their landlord Strong that they had just five minutes to get out.

“He had a gun in his hand and they were concerned about what he was going to do.”

He said the woman phoned 999 on her mobile and told police “Please help us.”

Mr Youell said that Strong then assaulted her husband and when she tried to intervene said Strong grabbed her round the neck and tried to take her mobile phone.

In the scuffle she suffered a cut to her lip and Strong then broke her phone in half.

Police arrived and arrested Strong and firearms, which had been legally held by Strong, were seized.

Mr Youell said the couple said the incident had a substantial effect on them.

Strong admitted possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence on July 4, this year, and also assaulting the couple and damaging property.

Jailing him for eight months, Judge Anthony Bate said he accepted that Strong was full of remorse for what he had done and had acted in a “wholly uncharacteristic” way.

He said Strong’s actions must have caused his tenants “consternation and fear”.

He said that Strong’s firearms licence had been revoked and said: ”You will never be in a position to hold a licence for a shotgun.”

Michael Clare, for Strong, said: “He cannot explain why he completely lost it. He accepts that he did and said he just wanted to make a noise.”

He said that he does not try to excuse his actions but said he lost control of himself.

“He is at a loss as to how this happened and escalated into such a serious incident.”

He said that Strong had held a shotgun licence since the 1980s and had no previous convictions.

He said Strong was full of remorse: “The defendant knows his fall from grace will be particularly hard.”

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