Gunman aimed rifle at woman

Stephen Barrett holds a gun to the young girl. He's been jailed.
Stephen Barrett holds a gun to the young girl. He's been jailed.

This is the chilling moment a young woman’s night out turned to pure terror as crazed stranger Stephen Barrett put a rifle to her head.

Exclusive CCTV images obtained by The Scarborough News capture the drunk’s late-night town centre rampage, in which he also took aim at police.

Stephen Barrett takes aim as part of his five minute rampage, in which he stuk his rifle to the head of a woman - and pointed it at police and drivers. He's been jailed.

Stephen Barrett takes aim as part of his five minute rampage, in which he stuk his rifle to the head of a woman - and pointed it at police and drivers. He's been jailed.

The footage played a vital role in jailing the 34-year-old, who decided to bear arms after downing 27 pints.

“It was one of the most shocking things I’ve ever seen,” said one eye-witness.

“You see some incredible sights on a night out in Scarborough, but someone pointing a gun at a girl is something else.”

Other sources claim the incident lasted just five minutes - but in that time, York Crown Court heard how the alcoholic terrorised the reveller outside a takeaway along with drivers, who swerved to avoid him.

It was one of the most shocking things that I’ve ever seen

Witness

The girl was cornered by Barrett next to a St

Thomas Street takeaway, finding herself staring down the barrel of the .22-calibre Jackal air rifle.

Sources close to the victim, who declined to comment, say an onlooker even offered Barrett a chip to drop the rifle as she pleaded for mercy.

Police then swooped on the scene in marked cars but Barrett had run off. They found him a short distance away where he took aim at officers.

Stephen Barrett

Stephen Barrett

One of the police vehicles was driven towards Barrett, causing him to drop the weapon. Officers then took him to ground before seizing the rifle.

“It was in the early hours and quiet, so as soon as officers caught wind of him they were on to it like cheetahs,” added a source.

“They just pounced on him and didn’t take any chances, loads of officers just swarmed on the scene - it was absolute bedlam.”

Barrett, 34, was arrested and charged with possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.

On Monday he was jailed for 12 months having pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing.

Prosecuting barrister Beth Richardson said Scarborough CCTV operators spotted Barrett aiming a rifle at passing cars outside his home in Castle Road.

He then walked towards St Thomas Street, “pointing and aiming the weapon in different directions, holding it on his shoulder as if preparing to fire”.

“At one point he aimed it at a passing car which swerved to avoid it,” said Ms Richardson.

In St Thomas Street at about 2.20am on June 9, Barrett came across a woman outside a takeaway.

“She saw him put something in the gun and pull it back,” added Ms Richardson.

“As he did so, it made a clicking noise. He brought the gun up to his chest and pointed it directly at (the victim).

“She tried to engage him in conversation, saying ‘we can sort this out, please put the gun down’.”

Subsequent forensic examination of the weapon showed that it was faulty and incapable of firing ammunition.

After being arrested, Barrett said he couldn’t remember the incident due to being drunk.

In a victim statement, the woman who tried to coax Barrett into putting the gun down said she was scared he was going to harm someone.

“He seemed so out of it and had no emotion,” she added.

The court heard that Barrett had 31 previous convictions for 60 offences, including three for possessing an offensive weapon in public and others for ABH, arson, criminal damage, affray and threatening behaviour.

Defence barrister Taryn Turner said Barrett’s long criminal record could be put down to a “dangerous cocktail” of alcohol and various mental-health issues.

Just a few weeks before the incident on June 9, he had been sectioned at a local psychiatric unit.

“This is a case of a drunken man wafting a potentially lethal weapon about as if it was a wand, but he did not do any damage,” said Mrs Turner.

Judge Peter Benson jailed Barrett for 12 months and ordered him to pay a £900 court charge.