Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text WILTS TIMES to 80360 or email us
Reveller spared jail after gun alert at Trowbridge night spot
A man who was armed with a blank firing pistol which looked like the real thing when he was out for a night on the town has escaped a jail term.
Martin Dobransky had just been thrown out of the Albany Palace in Trowbridge when he got into a fight with other revellers.
During the melee the pistol fell from the 25-year-old's pocket, causing people to scatter as someone spotted the weapon and shouted 'gun'.
When Sgt Gill Hughes, who used to be a military police officer before joining the Wiltshire constabulary, was handed it she also thought it was a genuine firearm.
But after proper examination by an armourer it was found out to be a blank firing pistol which could also be used for signal flares, Swindon crown court was told.
Colin Meeke, prosecuting, said Dobransky had been thrown out of the town centre night spot on Sunday April 22, exchanging words with bouncers as he left.
"He left the pub and it was then that he got into a fight with others. it was during the course of that fight that what appeared to be a pistol went spinning across the ground.
"Someone shouted 'gun' and everyone scattered The fear and consternation felt by everyone present was substantial."
The gun was picked up and handed to a doorman who passed it to the police, who had been called to the scene.
When he was later searched he was also found to have a blank round in his pocket during the night out.
Mr Meeke said it was a 9mm blank firing pistol which was technically capable of firing a lethal shot if it were 'muzzle loaded' with a blank cartridge fitted behind it.
Speaking through a Slovak interpreter Dobransky, of Yeoman Way, Trowbridge, pleaded guilty to charges of affray and possessing a prohibited weapon.
Marcus Davey, defending, said his client genuinely believed it was lawful to carry the gun in the UK and had forgotten he had the round in his pocket.
He said that he and some mates had bought similar guns in Slovakia for ‘playing games in the woods’ where they fired blanks at each other.
Although he accepted people would have feared unlawful violence when they saw the gun it was only visible when it fell from his pocket.
He said that he had never been in possession of any noxious liquid or gas which was capable of being fired from the gun.
Recorder Robert Linford said: "I have read references about you which set out that altogether you are a decent man and I am prepared therefore to treat this as a single isolated incident that will never be repeated."
He imposed an 18 month community order, told him to do 150 hours of community service and pay £100 costs.