A WORTHING man is on trial at Chichester Crown Court this week charged with possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.
Phillip Geale, 44, of Station Road admits to having the Beretta .177 air gun in his pocket on May 25 at 8.30pm when he was walking along Ivy Arch Road towards his workshop. He claims that he was seen moving the gun from one pocket to another because it was uncomfortable against his ribs.
But witnesses Stephen Blaker and Samantha Cox say that Geale was holding the gun and pointing it towards them in a threatening manner.
The engineer purchased the gun and its accessories for £200 in February, partially as a hobby to keep in touch with his work colleagues and partly to take apart and service as he was interested in ‘how things work’.
Prosecuting Erica Foster asked why the gun was loose in Geale’s pocket. She said: “Instead of taking the gun to bits and putting it in a case you chose to have it in one piece and loaded and in your pocket.
“It was a gun with a silencer and you chose to take a gun out like that.
“I am going to suggest to you that you saw the group of people there and you pointed the gun at them as you wanted them to be afraid of you.
“This was not a simple one pocket to the other move it was a full half semi-circular motion towards all those people including children.”
Geale replied: “That is completely untrue, it is not what happened.” The trial continues.