CASE STUDY: Posses imitation firearm with intention to cause fear
Background to Case:
The offender is wandering around the student accommodation behaving oddly, walking into rooms and saying he is god. The victims, for fear of further incident, ushered him outside and lock the door. He kept trying to get back in and takes a BB gun from his pocket and points it at the group. The offender admitted to taking LSD.
The victim was one of the group who ushered the offender outside. He was shook up at the time and became paranoid from the incident, changing his behavior towards safety; locking his door and fear of repercussions.
He wanted to know; the offender’s version of events, what led up to the offence, how did the offender feel in hindsight and what he thought others may have felt at the time.
The offender explained that he had taken some drugs and doesn’t know what he did. He has seen the footage on CCTV. He feels upset at what he did. He woke up in the police station and did not know why he was there. He knows he had a BB gun and was acting strangely and that people were probably frightened.
He wanted to be able to apologise to the victim and to answer any questions that he would like to ask.
An indirect piece of work took place. The offender wrote a letter to the victim answering the questions that he had put to him.
The victim stated that the letter had ‘wrapped things up for me’, especially that the offender had written the he was in a childlike state and just playing with the gun, not having taking drugs before. He said that it had given him a greater understanding of what had happened and appreciated the letter. He wanted the offender to be told of this feedback.
The offender was appreciative of the feedback and said that it had been a good experience for them both.