An abusive man with a fake “shotgun” and three bullets warned his partner: “There’s a bullet here for you, me and your dad.” The imitation firearm was actually a piece of wood wrapped in a bin bag, but the bullets were real.
The woman thought it was a genuine weapon and that she would be killed.
Luke Aldred, 36, of Crescent Close, Wrexham, admitted possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence and a string of other offences. A judge at Caernarfon Crown Court jailed him for five years and four months.
Prosecutor Elen Owen said Aldred had been in a relationship with the woman for three months last year. But she was soon subjected to violence and accused of infidelity.
Ms Owen said that, on August 4 last year, the couple had both drunk vodka. Aldred accused the woman of cheating on him and said he had something for her. He went away and came back carrying a black bin bag, which she took to be a shotgun, and three shotgun bullets.
The court heard that the bin bag in fact contained “a longish piece of wood with a battery rather crudely taped to it”. It was “easy to see” how real it seemed to be.
Ms Owen said: “He was shaking this item around (and told his partner) ‘If you walk off I’ll shoot you. There’s a bullet here for you, me and your dad.'”
She genuinely thought she would be killed so she walked back into the house.
The court heard there had been several other incidents between the former couple, including one when he chased her on July 3. The woman had been in Aldred’s flat in Wrexham, but late that evening they argued.
While the woman was in bed, Aldred held a Stanley knife to her neck and shouted. He then punched her, giving her a black eye, and cut the top of her right foot, causing a deep wound.
She ran out of his flat but he followed, grabbing her hair and near her breasts. The woman ran to Tesco, but Aldred told her he had a “needle with HIV-infected blood”, the court heard.
Members of the public noticed the man and woman arguing and police officers arrived soon afterwards at 11.40pm. The woman had been running barefoot and was very distressed.
She had a black eye and a cut on her foot which was bleeding, said the prosecutor. She was reluctant to give a statement at first but agreed to be taken to hospital.
Police arrested Aldred near Tesco. He was “sweating, incoherent and clearly intoxicated with something”, said Ms Owen.
On August 8, Aldred slapped the woman while she was holding her two young children, saying: “You’re lucky you’re holding the kids because I’d have set you on fire.”
In a victim statement, the woman said she had been scared, adding: “He hit me with the children in my arms, knowing I could not protect my children or myself.”
She said her two young children had been taken out of her care and are now with their biological father.
“He (Aldred) has cost me my relationship with my children,” she said. “My last memory is of their little scared faces while their mum was getting attacked by this abusive bully.”
Duncan Bould, defending, said it had been an “extremely volatile” relationship. His client has been diagnosed with ADHD, he said, and the imitation firearm may have looked like something more dangerous but it wasn’t.
Mr Bould said the foot injury had been “unpleasant” but it “did not receive extensive treatment”.
The judge Her Honour Nicola Saffman told the defendant, whose full name is Simon Luke Aldred, that he had caused serious psychological harm. She jailed him for possessing the imitation firearm, with other sentences for offences against the woman to run concurrently.
They were three years and seven months for assault causing ABH, two years and three months for an assault, five months each for two more assaults, and two years and three months for threatening to kill the same ex-partner.
The judge also made an indefinite restraining order prohibiting Aldred from contacting his ex, entering premises where she may reasonably be, or referring to her on social media.