Peter Britcher outside Canterbury Magistrates Court
A wheelchair-bound pensioner who pulled a firearm and sparked an armed police incident in Herne Bay has put his hands up to the crime.
Former merchant seaman Peter Britcher, 75, of Canterbury Road, pointed the imitation gun through the window of neighbour John Purcell’s home.
It was the most serious twist in a long-running neighbour dispute between the two men.
Britcher appeared at Canterbury Crown Court to admit possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence to Mr Purcell.
Judge James O’Mahony told him: “It’s sad to see a man of your age in this court at all.”
His barrister, Phil Rowley, said: “This is effectively a neighbour dispute. The firearm has now been taken off him.”
The incident happened on the evening of July 8.
Officers swooped on the pensioner’s terrace flat after receiving the 999 call at 6.15pm.
The road was shut off between Spenser Road and Eddington Lane while armed officers, wearing bulletproof vests, surrounded the building, opposite the St Clements Court sheltered housing complex.
Peter Britcher was wheeled into court
Armed police near Homebase car park after Britcher arrested in Canterbury Road
Officers in three patrol cars and an unmarked 4x4 were also stationed near the Homebase car park.
Britcher was arrested at 8pm and police found the firearm at his home before reopening the area at 9pm.
After the hearing, Britcher said: “All I’m saying is that I’ve pleaded guilty and I’ll wait to see what happens when I’m sentenced later. I do think the judge was all right, though.”
Judge O’Mahony called for the Probation Service to prepare reports on Britcher and he is due to be sentenced next month.