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Man allowed to keep 'family heirloom' gun after disturbance on boat in Rushenden on Sheppey


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A man who fired a gun during a disturbance on a boat has been allowed to keep the weapon.

Joshua Presneill, 23, was found with the firearm on March 25 this year after police were called to Alsager Avenue, Rushenden, on Sheppey.

Joshua Presneill, 23, was sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court
Joshua Presneill, 23, was sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court

He had climbed onto the vessel but was asked to leave by the owner.

However, Presneill, of Victory Street, Sheerness, thought the boat was a wreck and had shouted: "It's a wreck, I can do what I want."

He refused to leave and fired the gun at the hull of the vessel.

Police were called and when officers arrived they arrested Presneill and seized the gun and a sheath knife which was found in his bag.

The 23-year-old, who did not have permission to be on the boat, was later charged with one count of possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence and one count of possession of a bladed article in a public place.

The disturbance happened in Alsager Avenue, Rushenden. Picture: Google
The disturbance happened in Alsager Avenue, Rushenden. Picture: Google

He stood trial at Maidstone Crown Court in October and was found not guilty of having the imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence but was found guilty of having the sheath knife in a public place.

At a sentencing hearing on Wednesday, November 3, Judge Julian Smith heard Presneill had committed the offence while on a suspended sentence for being in possession of another firearm.

He had already been recalled to prison as a result and has been in custody since the incident in March.

The court also heard Presneill had previous convictions including possession of a shotgun, cannabis misuse and battery.

Judge Smith told Presneill the boat was not his property and he is not allowed to return to the creek where it is moored as he was placing a four-year restraining order on him meaning he could not go near the creek, the boat or the owner.

'What you did was so stupid and dangerous. It was a shocking incident and took up a lot of police resources.'

Judge Smith added: "Do not go near the boat or him."

He jailed Presneill for 17 months but because he has been in custody since March, he's expected to be released within weeks.

Judge Smith ordered the destruction of the knife but because Presneill had been found not guilty of the gun offence, he was powerless to order its destruction and the gun will be returned to him as it was a family heirloom.

He added: "What you did was so stupid and dangerous. It was a shocking incident and took up a lot of police resources.

"I do not want you to have the gun, but can't take the gun off you."

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Read more: All the latest news from Sheppey

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