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‘Gun’ and knife threat father and son jailed

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A father and son have been jailed after arming themselves with an imitation firearm following an argument with neighbours over dustbins.

Police received a 999 call on the evening of 14 December after 38-year-old Christy Burke pulled a “gun” on one of his father’s neighbours in Perry Road, Leverington, Wisbech.

Earlier in the day, there had been a dispute between Christy’s father, Dermot Burke, and one of their neighbours – a 69-year-old woman – over the dustbins.

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The father-and-son duo confronted another neighbour – a 54-year-old man – upon his arrival home later in the day, when all three of them ended up in a tussle on the ground.

Christy Burke (left) and Dermot Burke (right)

A friend of the neighbour – a 41-year-old man – intervened, but Christy became extremely angry, went inside his father’s home and returned with a “gun” which he pointed at the man, not saying anything before he returned back inside a short while later.

Police were called but a now masked Dermot went to the door of the 54-year-old neighbour with a large knife and tried to remove the video doorbell.

Despite having his face covered, Dermot, 69, was clearly identified in the footage as his distinct upper-arm tattoos were visible.

Armed officers arrived and arrested Christy after he was ordered to come outside the property, however Dermot refused to follow orders and became aggressive.

Knife used by Dermot Burke

After a stand-off and throwing planks of wood towards officers, Dermot appeared near the back door with a “gun” in his hand.

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Officers reacted by throwing a “stun grenade” into the home in order to de-arm Dermot and arrest him.

The “gun” used by both men was recovered and later found to be a gas-powered BB pistol.

The pair appeared at Cambridge Crown Court yesterday (27 September) where they were both jailed for a year and 10 months.

Christy, of Victoria Road, Wisbech, previously admitted being in possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.

Dermot, of Perry Road, Leverington, Wisbech, previously admitted the same charge, as well as being in possession of a knife in a public place.

Detective Constable Matt Pope, who investigated, said: “This was a relatively low-level neighbour dispute which got completely out of hand due to the Burkes both being highly intoxicated.

“Christy armed himself with the weapon – which to an untrained eye, or from a distance, looks like a viable firearm – with the intention of intimidating the man, causing him to fear for his life.

“From the off-set their behaviour was aggressive and unjustified, causing the woman a lot of upset and fear, which then escalated, resulting in firearms officers being called to diffuse the situation and ultimately prevent anyone from being harmed.”

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