The erosion of village life to holiday homes and rowdy tourists in Robin Hood’s Bay was described by a judge as the “deeply sad disintegration of society”.
Recorder Amanda Rippon, sitting at York Crown Court, made her observation while sentencing a local resident who “terrified” holidaymakers by holding up and revving a chainsaw at his bedroom window and then discharging a shotgun into the air.
Ian Firth, 50, of Bloomswell, was said to have become increasingly irate at the presence of tourists making noise at night in the village, particularly after suffering three sleepless nights leading up to the shotgun incident on August 6 last year.
After four couples enjoying a quiet evening at their holiday cottage were sent diving for cover, the police attended and burst into Firth’s bedroom in the home he shares with his elderly parents.
They found the legally held gun with one spent cartridge, also recovering five live ones, Firth accepting to the officers in interview that his actions would have put people in fear, and that he was “sorry”.
Firth appeared before the court for sentencing, having previously admitted a charge of possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.
Firth, a chef and handyman who cares for both his parents, was sentenced to six months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months.
He was also placed under 12 months supervision and ordered to take part in a specified activity to address his alcohol misuse.