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Gloucestershire Business News

Self-employed builder fired nail gun at woman

A drunken 45-year-old builder who shot a woman in the leg with an air rifle, and also fired a nail gun at her but missed is to be sentenced at Gloucester Crown Court later this month.

Cheltenham Magistrates Court heard on Tuesday (August 1) that Wayne Harvey of The Avenue, Ross-on-Wye, also threatened the Lydney woman with a blow torch, held a metre from her head, and told her that he was going to burn her house down.

Prosecutor Ibrar Naqvi said the offences occurred in Lydney whilst Harvey was drunk and he added: "He has made numerous threats to kill the woman. He has also breached his bail conditions by contacting her through text messages, calling her, and by letter, since his original arrest in May. At present he has not been charged with this.

"Taking all the offences together this case is not suitable to be heard in the magistrates' court and should be heard at the crown court."

Neil Brooker, defending, said Harvey has had issues with alcohol for a number of years and added: "He describes himself as being a functioning alcoholic during this time. He is a self-employed builder who turns to drink at the end of each working day as a coping mechanism.

"It is when he is drunk that these offences have occurred. He is remorseful and it is unfortunate that it got to this stage before he realised, he had a major problem with alcohol.

"He was intoxicated at the time he used the air rifle and fired at the woman. He now accepts he shouldn't have been handling the gun whilst drunk. He did fire it at the general direction of her and the pellet hit her leg. He said he immediately apologised to his victim.

"Harvey has been sober for six weeks, as part of his bail conditions - however he has still been harassing the woman by sending her threatening text messages and voice mails.

"He has since re-joined Alcoholics Anonymous having previously relapsed after a month. He is just about to start a specialist programme with the organisation.

"Having been sober for a while Harvey can now see with clarity that his behaviour was not what it should have been."

The court was told that Harvey had previously been convicted of driving while intoxicated through drugs in November 2022.

Harvey admitted assaulting the woman occasioning her actual bodily harm on September 1, 2022 with an air rifle; engaging in controlling and coercive behaviour between August 1, 2022, and May, 3, 2023 and assaulting a man in Lydney on May 3, 2023.

Presiding Justice Stephen Bajdala-Brown told Harvey that the magistrates were declining jurisdiction in his case and were remanding him into custody until he appears at Gloucester Crown Court for sentence on August 22.

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