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Drunken man brandished fake firearm in Penrith town centre

The fake firearm brandished by Tomas Holme in Penrith town centre

A YOUNG man who brandished a fake firearm in a Cumbrian town centre street has been spared immediate custody.

Carlisle Crown Court heard how drunken Tomas Holme was seen “staggering around” before producing what one witness believed was a real handgun from his trouser waistband.

Holme, 21, brandished the black “predominantly plastic” imitation weapon in the air for 30 seconds in Penrith town centre, before putting it back in his trousers. The non-functioning air weapon was later seen discarded and in two pieces on the ground by a young boy with his family who exclaimed: “I have found a gun, mummy.”

An armed response unit was dispatched, and police who caught up with Holme found he was also illegally in possession of a lock knife which was in the bottom of his bag.

He was sentenced today (WED) having earlier admitted possessing an imitation firearm and having a bladed article in public on the evening of July 2.

The Honourable Mr Justice Turner heard the air weapon – originally orange but painted black – was a film “prop” Holme had taken from a friend’s flat. At the time, he had “overindulged in drink” after his Army career ended and he split from his girlfriend.

After hearing mitigation, Mr Justice Turner suspended an eight-month jail term for a year. Holme, of Melmerby, near Penrith, must also complete a 15-day rehabilitation requirement. The weapon and knife will be forfeited and destroyed.

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