Fake gun prank lands “Latvian James Bond” in jail

News from the Peterborough Telegraph - peterboroughtoday.co.uk/news, @peterboroughtel on Twitter
News from the Peterborough Telegraph - peterboroughtoday.co.uk/news, @peterboroughtel on Twitter
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A man who saw himself as a “Latvian James Bond or Starsky and Hutch” when he held a BB gun to the head of a shop worker has been jailed.

Dimitrius Tihanovs (27), of Lime Tree Avenue, Peterborough, was jailed for 18 months after terrifying staff and shoppers at Asda, in Rivergate, by brandishing a ball bearing gun in the store on March 31.

Charles Kellett, prosecuting, told Peterborough Crown Court on Tuesday how Tihanovs had concealed the firearm in the small of his back as he entered the supermarket about 11.45am, having carried it openly near the store’s entrance.

He approached a number of workers in various parts of the store and pointed the gun at them, as well as at shoppers, going as far to hold it against the temple of an employee.

Mr Kellett said: “He could feel it was cold. Tihanovs said ‘have you got some money?’ He thought the gun was real. He felt scared and pulled his head away. The man said ‘I’m only joking’ and he hugged him.”

Tihanovs showed a security guard the firearm, saying the gun was not real and he was “only messing about”. He cocked and fired the gun two or three times, showing it was empty and left after kissing the guard’s hand.

He returned to the store at 2.30pm to steal some peanuts and then assaulted a security guard as he was arrested.

Charles Falk, defending, described Tihanovs’ actions as a “stupid, ill-thought-out joke with no element of hostility”.

He said he had been drinking with friends who had travelled to Asda to buy more alcohol, taking the gun with them as they had been playing with it in the house. Tihanovs had thought of himself as “some sort of Latvian James Bond or Starsky and Hutch” and his actions were intended to be a game.

Mr Falk said: “This was a drunken, oafish, short-lived piece of idiocy where a defendant in drink took temporary leave of all judgment and sanity.”

Tihanovs, who had no previous convictions, was jailed for 17 months for possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, one month consecutively for theft and one month concurrently for assault.