Husband who pointed air rifle at police after a row with his wife is jailed

PC Phil Robertson during a previous close pass operation in April.

Picture: Sarah Standing (170462-9066)

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A JILTED husband who was tasered after pointing an air rifle at police has been jailed for two years.

John Crouch holed himself up in his garage after assaulting his estranged wife Amanda at their home in Waterlooville.

The 42-year-old had tried to strangle her in a row over the break-up of their relationship.

As Mrs Crouch dialled 999 he could be heard in the background shouting and threatening to ‘smash’ the first police officer he saw.

As police, armed with tasers and riot shields, surrounded Crouch’s garage he stepped outside and pointed the weapon at PC Mark Ingram and PC David Gwilliam.

After shouting at him to drop the weapon, PC Gwilliam fired his taser.

At a previous court hearing both officers said they thought Crouch was going to shoot them.

PC Gwilliam also said he thought the gun was a high-powered rifle.

Crouch, of Newlands Lane, Waterlooville, pleaded guilty to common assault and possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.

Terence Brookes, defending, said he had been under stress because of the break-up of his 11-year marriage when the incident happened in February.

While the couple were separated Crouch continued to live above the garage of the marital home.

‘The last two years have been particularly fraught,’ Mr Brookes said.

He acknowledges his responsibility for that.’

He added: ‘He still holds somewhat of a torch for his wife. He certainly bears her no ill will.

‘This is a chapter of his life that he bitterly regrets.’

Sentencing him at Salisbury Crown Court Judge John Beashel said: ‘At the time you were very angry, you had been drinking.

‘To point any firearm at somebody in this situation is a serious matter.’

The judge also imposed a restraining order to prevent Crouch from contacting his wife or going near her home for an indefinite period.