Wife hid air gun in rabbit hutch after husband’s threat

A HUSBAND threatened to hit his wife unless she hid his unlicensed air gun in a rabbit hutch when the police called round, a court was told.

Stewart and Samantha Rickman had a domestic row which ended with both calling the police after threatening to hit each other.

The pair admitted one charge of possessing a firearm without a certificate when they appeared at North Somerset Courthouse in St Georges on Monday.

Stewart Angelinetta, defending 24-year-old Samantha Rickman, said the incident began when she threatened to hit her husband because he refused to turn down his loud country and western music on December 3. He then called the police.

After hearing he had contacted the police, Samantha Rickman did the same to tell them there was a firearm in their Monkton Avenue home on the Oldmixon estate in Weston.

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Mr Angelinetta said Samantha Rickman does not know why she called the authorities, as she admitted the gun had no ammunition and was not dangerous.

He said: “They sound a very dramatic couple but obviously the circumstances are less dramatic than they may appear.

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“They have been together for many years and their relationship is sound but up and down.”

Huw Langley, defending Stewart Rickman, said his client had panicked when he heard the police had been called: “He was of the view that the police may, understandably, be more robust if they found an air weapon on the premises. He maintains he wouldn’t know how to fire it with live ammunition.”

Stewart Rickman, aged 23, bought the gun several years ago at a cowboy event at Court Farm in Banwell and was told it did not need a licence.

The court was told the pair both suffer from mental health issues and were both handed suspended sentences.

Samantha Rickman was handed a one-month sentence suspended for 12 months and her husband two months.

Graham Meikle, chair of the bench, also ordered that the air gun be seized.

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