Man jailed for missing unpaid work following offence of carrying BB rifle down his trousers

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A Northampton man has been given a prison sentence for carrying a BB gun in a public place, after he failed to complete the sentence of unpaid work that he was originally given.

Liam Dodson, aged 27, was sent to prison for four months after he was convicted in October last year of possessing an imitation firearm.

He was caught by police walking through Northampton town centre while drunk with the gun sticking out of his trousers.

Police then searched his home, in Woolmonger Street in the town centre, where they found 2,000 ball-bearings of the type fired by similar guns.

Because he pleaded guilty at the time and the gun - an army replica rifle - did not work, he avoided jail and was ordered by the court to complete 200 hours unpaid work.

But when he failed to turn up to the sessions, Dodson was arrested for breaching a community order.

During a hearing at Northampton Crown Court on Friday, Maxine Krone, defending Dodson, said her client had missed his appointments because he was working long hours to support his pregnant partner.

She said: “There were no available slots for the unpaid work at weekends.

“Mr Dodson has shown maturity in his efforts to work hard and provide for his partner.”

But Recorder Edward Hess replaced Dodson’s community sentence with a prison one after the court heard that he had 21 previous convictions, including arson, burglary, criminal damage and threatening someone with death.

He said: “You have repeatedly treated the probation service with contempt and to continue with a community order would be to make a mockery of a service that is there to help people who really and genuinely want to make things right.

“Nothing gives me confidence that you would treat any further chances with less contempt.”

Dodson was given four months in prison, with the second half to be served on licence.