BREAKING CHATHAM KENT

Threats to shoot a police officer in the head have led to a Chatham man being jailed for one year and two months.

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While holding what is now known to be an imitation firearm, Russell McIlwrath made more than a dozen threats to shoot a police constable while they responded to a report that he had been seen using a two foot long axe to damage a car.

 

The 38-year-old, of Tobruk Way, pleaded guilty to possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, two counts of criminal damage and possessing cannabis and was sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court on Tuesday 11 May 2021.

 

Shortly after 12.25am on 28 December 2020, Kent Police attended Tobruk Way after witnesses reported seeing McIlwrath use an axe to repeatedly strike a parked car. He then used the weapon to damage the front door of a nearby house.

 

Due to numerous witnesses saying he had been seen carrying the weapon, armed patrols attended the scene to provide support to attending patrols.

 

Upon locating McIlwrath at his home address, an attending constable saw through a window that he was carrying what appeared to be a black handgun.

 

The offender then shouted a series of threats to the officer, which included saying that he was in possession of a Colt 45 9mm and that he would shoot them in the head.

 

Armed officers set up a containment around the address and, after a period of negotiation, McIlwrath exited the property unarmed.

 

He was subsequently detained and a search of his address led to an imitation firearm, and a quantity of cannabis, being seized.

 

He was promptly charged and has been remanded in custody since.

 

Detective Constable Michael Rake, Kent Police’s investigating officer for the case, said: ‘Mcllwrath demonstrated an exceptional amount of hostility towards our attending officers and it is a testament to their professionalism that he was safely detained.

 

‘He came to our attention for a completely senseless act of criminal damage and it is entirely appropriate for a custodial sentence to be imposed.’