A jury has decided that a woman who went to investigate shouting near her home while carrying an imitation firearm did not intend to cause fear.
Jennie Pudney, 54, of Angel Lane, Glemsford, was on Friday, (August 28) cleared following a trial at Ipswich Crown Court of possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.
The jury had spent just over seven hours considering the evidence before reaching their verdict.
The prosecution had claimed that Pudney had pointed what appeared to be a handgun at two children who were standing near to where a mother and her 12-year-old son were arguing on February 2.
It was alleged that the incident had left the children distressed and crying and had only come to an end, despite pleas from the mother, when Pudney turned and walked away.
Giving evidence, Pudney told the jury that she admitted taking the imitation gun outside after hearing a child screaming and a woman shouting.
She said her intention had not been to cause fear or threaten violence but to defuse the situation.
Pudney said she had been genuinely concerned about what she was hearing and, with the nearest police station 20 minutes away, had decided to attempt to intervene.
Cross examined by Simon Gladwell, prosecuting, Pudney denied that she had “lost it” when she became annoyed about noises outside her home.
Pudney claimed that the mother had told her son that the object Pudney was holding resembled the handset he used at home for playing video games.
The court heard that the day after the alleged incident, four police officers were sent to Pudney’s detached cottage where she was arrested.
Inside the property police found what appeared to be a handgun in a basket on the floor.
Later an examination by a firearms expert confirmed that the weapon was not capable of being used as a gun, consisting of pieces of metal which had been welded together to create the “look-alike” appearance of an automatic pistol.
When interviewed and asked why she had taken the imitation gun with her, Pudney had said: “I’m 5ft 3ins so I took that with me because you never know.”