Northampton teen who threatened to shoot woman in the face with an air rifle spared jail

Joshua Knipes has been handed an 18-month community order after threatening to shoot a woman in the face with an air rifle.
Joshua Knipes has been handed an 18-month community order after threatening to shoot a woman in the face with an air rifle.

A teenager who threatened to shoot a woman in the face with an air rifle in Northampton when she said his target practise was keeping her budgie awake has avoided jail.

Joshua Knipes and a friend were heard firing shots at pigeons from the air gun in the courtyard of Paget House at around 10.30pm on April 6, 2014.

The noise disturbed a woman in a nearby flat, who called out to the two men to be quiet as they were disturbing her pet budgerigar.

But Northampton Crown Court heard how Knipes then turned on the woman after an argument, swearing at her before threatening her with the air rifle.

"The defendant threatened to shoot her in the face using the air rifle he had and brandished it in her direction," said prosecutor Adam Pearson during the sentencing hearing.

Knipes, of Woodside Way, Kings Heath, was initially charged with firearm offences before the charge was downgraded to affray earlier this year.

Yesterday, he was handed an 18-month community order by judge Timothy Smith, where he will have to carry out a 50-day anger management course with the probation service.

Defending for him, Richard Purchase, said: "This was a very nasty thing to say to a person, but there was no act of violence."