OAP threatened drone pilot with gun as he thought sunbathing wife was filmed

An OAP who threatened a drone pilot with a gun, after suspecting he was spying on his sunbathing wife, has avoided jail.

Michael Edwards was caught confronting the man, brandishing the gun, on video.

The 72-year-old believed the drone was filming his wife who was sunbathing in their garden.

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A court heard how videographer Daine Gooden, of Swindon, was filming a neighbour's home for an estate agent listing on August 22, 2022.

He was confronted by a sweating shouting Edwards, who was armed with a black realistic-looking pistol.

Edwards was seen on the footage waving his arms around erratically, while the victim claims he took three shots at the drone as it hovered in the sky above.

The defendant, of Cirencester, Gloucestershire, pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm, namely a Huntington G10 air pistol, at a hearing on March 30, and was back in court to be sentenced today (Friday, April 28).

He was given a curfew and ordered to wear a tag and ordered to pay compensation to Mr Gooden.

Gloucester Crown Court heard Mr Gooden, who was commissioned by an estate agent to take aerial photographs of a neighbouring building, tried to calmly explain why he was flying the drone.

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But the defendant refused to accept his explanation, repeatedly telling him not to fly it near his house – stating: "If you do it again, I will fire at it again. I took three shots at it and I missed."

The victim said "Don't point that gun at me" to which the suspect responded, "Don't point a f***ing drone at me."

Edwards proceeds to hit the drone case with the gun, causing irreparable damage to the device worth around £1,300.

Chris Smyth, prosecuting, said Mr Gooden’s activity was “perfectly lawful” and confirmed that he was fully registered with the CAA as required.

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Fearing for his safety and of those around him, Mr Gooden wrestled with the gunman to disarm him and kicked the weapon away.

Edwards collected the gun and ran back into his house. Police were called to the scene and armed officers arrested the defendant.

A neighbour, Katherine Teague, said Mr Gooden had explained his reason for flying the drone – but Edwards continued to state that it was illegal and remained “very angry” about it.

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She claimed the pensioner called the victim a “pussycat” and repeatedly mocked him as he called 999.

Steve Young, defending, told the court that Edwards bought the air pistol around 20 years ago at a car boot sale and uses it to fire warning shots at foxes when they come into his garden.

He was ordered to pay £3,000 in compensation to Mr Gooden – £2,000 for the damaged drone and loss of earnings and £1,000 for the distress caused.


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