Two air pistol shooting incidents draw jail time

A man who fired his compressed air pistol at two people in separate incidents is spending the next four months in jail.

A man who fired his compressed air pistol at two people in separate incidents is spending the next four months in jail.

Christian Leggatt, 19, was sentenced to 119 days in jail on Monday after he pleaded guilty at the Penticton Court House to two counts of possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose and one count of assault with a weapon and assault causing bodily harm.

“I never meant to hurt anybody. I just meant to scare them off and I apologize for the people that I have hurt. I understand that it could have been a lot worse,” Leggatt said.

The first of two incidents involving the dangerous use of an air pistol, which Crown counsel John Swanson said was “difficult to distinguish from a real handgun,” occurred on March 5 when Leggatt was involved in an argument that escalated on Atkinson Street.

The altercation came to a head between Klinton Clark and a female who was walking with Leggatt at the time.

Leggatt ended up firing the pistol at Clark, who was hit multiple times in the body and face by the air pistol, which was fired from approximately two metres away, with one shot hitting above the left eyebrow and drawing blood.

“If you shoot someone with a pellet gun and you were to hit them in the face or the eye, you can do seriously bodily harm,” Swanson told the court.

Swanson was seeking 15 months in jail, which defence counsel John Stowell called “excessive.”

Stowell sought time served since Leggatts’s March 24 arrest.

“The Crown’s biggest concern in this particular case was that one of those shots hit the victim in the eyebrow and, as far as we can tell, it was pure luck that it wasn’t lower and would’ve taken out his eye,” Swanson said outside the courtroom.

Stowell said there was no excuse for his client’s actions on March 5, aside from “exuberant stupidity.”

The second incident on March 23 occurred after Stanley Faulkenham followed Leggatt to his motel room after accusing him of spray painting a building on Skaha Lake Road.

“For the record your honour, I couldn’t draw a stickman to save my life, let alone paint the side of a wall,” Leggatt said.

Faulkenham told police he followed Leggatt home to find out where he lived and began to kick on Leggatt’s door and “threatened to kill him, shouting through the door” Stowell told the court.

Faulkenham returned to his truck and Leggatt brought out his air pistol, but what happened next remains a point of contention. Leggatt said he fired his pistol in the air whereas Faulkenham told police that Leggatt fired at his truck.

Judge Greg Koturbash had initially sentenced Leggatt to just over six months jail time on June 15, but shortly after the sentence was handed down Leggatt, who appeared via video during the hearing, said the pistol was never seized by police following the first incident.  The oversight came from a clerical error in the police report.

Koturbash had recognized Leggatt rearming himself as an aggravating factor and the matter was set aside for a week to contact police and sort out the matter, as well as reconsider the sentence.