A drunken man who shot a police officer during a stand-off at his home was starting a five-year-and-nine-month jail sentence today.
Mark Nicklin hit Pc Andrew Lavanchy in the hand after opening fire, a judge heard.
The 39-year-old shot three times after police armed with Tasers and CS spray were called by his fiancee Kim Lane, who had just been attacked by him, Wolverhampton Crown Court was told yesterday.
Mr Tony Warner, prosecuting, revealed: “They were let in to the house by Miss Lane, who pointed to the door to the living room, indicating that was where the defendant was.
Pc Christopher Lewis opened the door and was confronted by Nicklin who was holding a black gun in his right hand while poised in the firing stance with the weapon pointed at the officer.
It had all the appearance of a real gun and Pc Lewis believed that it was a real gun.”
The defendant was actually armed with a gas powered BB gun modelled on the Walther PPQ pistol. He fired two pellets that hit the wall of the property in Oliver Crescent, Bilston he shared with Miss Lane, making ‘significant indentations’, the court heard.
Nicklin ignored calls to drop the weapon and continued to hold the firing stance as a Taser failed to make sufficient contact to fell him before he fired for the last time, hitting Pc Lavanchy, continued Mr Warner, who added: “The officer felt a sharp pain and shouted to his colleagues ‘he has shot me’, and was knocked backwards.”
CS gas was discharged but Nicklin continued to point the gun and moved towards Pc Jason Lee, who discharged his Taser that knocked the defendant to the floor still holding the gun.
“Nicklin tried to get back to his feet and refused to drop the weapon but the officers managed to position themselves around him and prise the gun from his grasp while he was temporarily incapacitated,” added Mr Warner.
Nicklin and Miss Lane had been out drinking following an appearance at Wolverhampton County Court over rent arrears on May 29 and he butted her when they returned home, the court was told. He had become ‘paranoid and controlling’ after turning to alcohol following the loss of his job as a furniture maker, it was said.
Mr Mukhtar Ubhi, defending, said: “He fell into a spiral of drinking to excess. If he had not done that this offence would not have been committed. He was under the misapprehension that the police officers were burglars.”
Nicklin admitted possession of a firearm, battery of a police officer and assaulting Miss Lane and was sent to prison by Judge John Warner, who told him: “This was a very serious incident, particularly because of the way you behaved towards those police officers.”