A Carrickfergus man has been sentenced for possession of an imitation firearm in a public place. 

Craig Hunter (37) of Dunluskin Gardens received a three-year probation order and 100 hours' community service at Laganside Crown Court today, Tuesday 11th June.

The sentencing relates to a report of Hunter producing an imitation firearm during an argument shortly after midnight on 6th July 2023 outside his home address. 

The injured party reported that, after leaving a friend home, he had been falsely accused by Hunter of kicking one of his dogs which had approached him in an aggressive manner. Hunter had then produced the imitation weapon and held it to the neck of the man. 

Detective Inspector Crothers added: “The injured party managed to grab the barrel away from his neck and take the firearm from him. Hunter was then arrested and later charged. But this would have been a truly terrifying encounter for this man. He did not know at that time that this firearm was an imitation. It was held to him in an aggressive way and reportedly made a 'clicking' sound of a cocking mechanism. This would have caused him to fear for his life.

"Officers arrested Hunter and during interview, Hunter admitted he had no memory of this encounter due to the consumption of a large amount of alcohol. In his favour, he was extremely apologetic about his actions on his night and did not contest any of the allegations made, stating he had not intended to put anyone in fear.

"The possession or use of firearms, imitation or otherwise, is unacceptable in any modern society. Today's sentencing shows that we will act swiftly and bring people responsible to justice."