Published: 08:00, 17 September 2009
by Keith Hunt
A depressed man deliberately brandished a gun at a police officer in the hope he would himself be killed, a court heard.
But the brave PC tackled the man instead and kicked the weapon away.
As it happened, it was an air gun but unarmed PC Justin Farrow, pictured right, didn't know that and froze as he heard a click and believed he felt something hit his body armour.
James Miles, 21 was also armed with a knife and was jailed for three years after a judge heard how PC Farrow had feared he would be shot dead.
Maidstone Crown Court was told Miles had on May 18 been drinking heavily at a family meal in Tenterden and had an argument with his girlfriend.
He went into the High Street, taking with him a box containing the gun.
Nancy Udom, prosecuting, said PC Farrow looked into an alleyway and was faced with Miles pointing the gun at him.
"The officer believed it was a real weapon," she said. "The defendant was about three metres away. On seeing the gun raised and pointed towards him, the officer turned away and ducked.
"He heard the weapon discharged twice."
PC Farrow shouted to PC Helen Waghorn that Miles had a gun. The officers retreated as PC Farrow tried to use his spray. Miles came out of the alley and, pointing the gun at the officer, discharged it several times.
"He describes himself as freezing in his tracks," said Miss Udom. "He felt contact was made with him. He felt two objects hit his body armour."
Miles walked over the police car and got into the driver's seat. PC Farrow followed and the gun was again pointed at him.
"He heard the firearm discharged several times in his direction," said the prosecutor. "He heard a definite clicking sound.He attempted to gain control of the situation by grabbing his right arm and forcing the weapon from his hand. While struggling, it was kicked away from the defendant.
"The officer pulled him from the vehicle. He noticed in his left hand he had a knife. Once pulled from the car he was unable to stand by himself."
Miles told police he had wanted to find somewhere to kill himself and thought if he had the gun with him, he might be shot.
Miles, of Appledore Road, Tenterden, admitted possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, having a bladed article and damaging property.
He had in February 2007 been sentenced to two years youth custody for wounding with intentin February 2007 and was said to have a tragic background. His mother had taken his father's life and then killed herself while in prison.