Burnley mugger pointed 'gun' at victim's head
A ‘GUNMAN’ who pointed a weapon at a man’s forehead as he tried to mug him and threatened to kill police has been jailed for more than six years.
Burnley Crown Court heard how both the victim, Vincent Yelland, and officers - one with military experience - believed Dale Fallows was armed with a real handgun, but it turned out to be an imitation.
Armed police were ready to fire and Fallows, of Melville Street, Burnley, could have ended up being shot, the court heard.
Despite his traumatic ordeal, Mr Yelland wanted to try and help police detain the defendant.
Fallows, 35, was said to have felt mentally unwell on occasions, had not slept for two weeks and knew that something was going to happen that day.
He went to church and had a ‘deep conversation’ with a helper between scaring Mr Yelland and the confrontation with police.
On his arrest, he didn't have the ball-bearing gun, as he had pushed it through a letterbox.
Fallows, who has a record for violence, admitted attempted robbery, having an imitation firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence and possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.
He struck just four months after being given a suspended jail term for sending a threatening text message to his ex-partner, including a picture of a gun.
Stephen Parker, prosecuting, said at about 2.30pm on June 22, Mr Yelland and his daughter's boyfriend Stephen Kelly were walking along Brennand Street, Burnley.
The defendant came round the corner and produced what the victim thought was a handgun. He pointed it directly at Mr Yelland's forehead, from less than a foot away.
Fallows demanded: “Give me your money”, but Mr Yelland, who had a £20 note in his hand, told him he hadn't any.
As he walked away, Mr Yelland said: “Why did you pull a gun on me? I don't even know you. I haven't done anything to you." The defendant walked back and said: “You don't answer like that to someone who’s carrying a gun." He then walked off.
Two detectives found Fallows in the street and when challenged, he pulled the ‘gun’ out again.
He pointed it directly at the two officers and said: "You are a dead cop walking. I will shoot you. I will do you. You're dead."
Officers shouted to members of the public to get back. As they called for help, Fallows made off.
Armed police and other officers arrived and the defendant was shouting and aggressive.
Officers shouted they were armed and as the defendant walked towards them, he put his hand behind his back towards his waistband.
Mr Parker said: “The officer was prepared for the defendant to produce a handgun and put his arm in firing position."
Fallows eventually put his hands on his head and was arrested.
Paul Hodgkinson, for Fallows, said last December, he tried to take his own life by injecting £100 worth of heroin.
He had been waiting to see the mental health team when he committed the ‘utterly ridiculous’ offences.
The barrister said: “He accepts what he did was wrong. He appears to show genuine remorse. He is aware of the predicament he placed his own life in that day.”
Sentencing him to six years and eight months in jail, Judge Beverley Lunt said Mr Yelland showed great courage in standing up to Fallows.
She told the defendant: “Even the armed response unit believed you were going to fire a gun at them.
“It's lucky for you that they were so courageous and so patient, that you were not shot by them, either by a taser or a gun."