A passenger in a car who pointed an imitation firearm at the occupants of another vehicle during a car chase out of Shefford has been sent to prison for the next five months.
Blake Lobato thought he was chasing people who were using social media to be “unpleasant” to a friend of his.
In fact, Luton crown court heard on Friday, the occupants of the car were entirely innocent and had nothing to do with any abuse.
Lobato, 23, of Queensway, Langford, appeared in court pleading guilty to possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.
The court was told his actions on the evening of May 24 this year had caused precisely that.
A pistol he was wielding out of the door of the car he was travelling in was in fact a BB gun. But as he pointed it at the young occupants of the other vehicle, they were left frightened and shocked.
The young male driver was said to have been affected by the experience that night, which has left him wary and nervous when out and unable to trust people.
Richard Jones, prosecuting, said the victims in the car had gone into Shefford that evening to get a takeway pizza.
It was then that the defendant and another man who was driving their car arrived on the scene.
After threats were made, said the prosecutor, the occupants in the first car left the area only to find themselves being followed by Lobato and the other man.
Mr Jones said there was “bobbing and weaving” as the pursuit continued, before the front of Lobato’s passenger door opened and he pointed a pistol at the people in the other car.
Mr Jones said the pistol appeared to have a cloth wrapped around it.
One of the occupants of that car was to tell police later “The whole episode was madness. I thought they were going to kill us and for no reason.”
The court was told the defendant, who suffered from ADHD, had been taking cannabis and precscription medication at the time.
He was jailed for five months and the forfeiture and destruction of the BB gun was ordered by the court.
The court heard the man who had been with Lobato that evening and driving the car had since died.