Former soldier jailed after pointing fake gun at ex-partner

Jack Bolton was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Michael Cousins has been jailed for 18 months - Credit: Charlotte Bond

A former soldier who broke into his partner’s Suffolk home and pointed an imitation gun at her after she said she was leaving him has been jailed for 18 months.

Sentencing 50-year-old Michael Cousins, Judge David Pugh said the incident must have been a “terrifying ordeal” for the victim.

He said that the woman told Cousins she no longer wanted to be in a relationship with him and was going to live in a new rented property in Sudbury and he had told her to get out of their house.

When she didn’t answer his subsequent calls or messages, he had driven to her new rented property in Kitchen Hill, Sudbury and broke in to the premises.

He had then gone upstairs and pointed a BB gun, which the judge said had “all the appearances of a genuine firearm”, at her.

He said the incident had a significant effect on the victim and she had been unable to live at the rented property because of what had happened there.

Judge Pugh said Cousins hadn’t shown any real remorse for what he’d done 

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Cousins, 50, of Cambridge Way, Beccles, had denied possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence but was convicted by a jury after a trial in April.

He was cleared of an offence of making a threat to kill which he had also denied.

The court heard Cousins had admitted an offence of using violence to secure entry.

Gareth Hughes, for Cousins, accepted the incident in December 2018 was “unpleasant” and that the victim had suffered ongoing psychological harm.

He said there was no evidence the BB gun was discharged or loaded and he described what happened as a one-off incident.

Mr Hughes said the relationship between Cousins and the victim had been coming to an end at the time of the offences.

Since the offences, Cousins had been in contact with  a veterans’ organisation which had suggested he might be suffering from PTSD.

Mr Hughes said the offences were the culmination of a number of pressures which were “coming down on his shoulders”, culminating in behaviour that was out of character.