WISBECH: Gun touting motorist could be facing jail for terrifying driving instructor

PUBLISHED: 16:58 16 July 2008 | UPDATED: 08:33 02 June 2010

A GUN touting motorist who terrified a driving instructor when he pointed a weapon out of his car window during an incident of clownish stupidity could be facing a jail sentence. Matthew Hampshire held an imitation self loading pistol out of his car w

A GUN touting motorist who terrified a driving instructor when he pointed a weapon out of his car window during an incident of "clownish stupidity" could be facing a jail sentence.

Matthew Hampshire held an imitation self loading pistol out of his car window at arms length, as he drove along the busy Lynn Road in Wisbech on his way home from work.

The gun pointed over the bonnet of a driving school car, and driving instructor Alistair Taylor - who was carrying out a mock driving test with a pupil at the time - called 999.

"I saw an arm come out of a car that was stationary on the other side of the road, it was extended and holding a black gun," he told Fenland magistrates today.

"At first I felt disbelief, prompting me to stare at it, and then I was frightened, it's the only word to describe it."

Twenty-year-old Hampshire, of Balding Close, Wisbech, had admitted that he was in possession of the black plastic pistol in a public place on April 22. It was a BB gun he bought at a Sunday market for about £3, around six months ago.

But he denied holding the weapon outside the car. He said the weapon was removed from his car's glove box by his friend Adam Rivett, who had been changing a CD in the car, and handed to him.

"I took it in my right hand," he said. "I always drive with the window open; someone could have seen it through the window."

Prosecutor Scheherazade Haque told the court: "Mr Taylor is a truthful witness; he has no reason to fabricate or embellish what he saw. Because of the unusual circumstances, it is not an everyday thing to see a firearm out of a window, it is impossible that he was mistaken."

Representing Hampshire, solicitor Hugh Cauthery said Mr Taylor had been mistaken, and reminded magistrates that the instructor's pupil had not seen the weapon.

After deliberation, the magistrates decided that the gun had been held outside the car by Hampshire. Sentencing was adjourned until August 6.

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