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Gun threat man avoids jail sentence
6:00pm Sunday 17th June 2012 in News
A man who terrified a friend of his girlfriend with a gun has escaped jail for a second time after failing to turn up for his community service.
Matthew Jepson was put on a suspended sentence last summer after a jury heard how he told the woman he had a list of people he wanted to kill as he cleaned his air pistol.
But when the 23-year-old was made redundant from his job as a night porter in January and lost his flat on Cheney Manor Road he stopped turning up to do his unpaid work. He then failed to attend a hearing where the probation were launching breach proceedings until he was arrested on a warrant.
Now, after hearing he had moved to live with his father in Bedfordshire and was about to start a job as a salesman, Judge Euan Ambrose has given him another chance, extending the length of the suspended sentence by six months and telling Jepson he must do a further 50 hours of unpaid work and pay £200 costs.
Matthew Scott, for the probation service, told Swindon Crown Court that Jepson had done just over 70 of the 130 hours. But by mid-January he had lost contact with probation and they asked for a warrant for his arrest.
Catherine Brown, defending, said her client had become homeless and could not afford to keep his phone active, which is why probation officers could not contact him. Now he is living in Dunstable and due to start work as a salesman.
The judge said: “I am not impressed with the failure to keep in touch. The question for me is whether to activate the order and send you to prison.” Allowing the order to continue, he added: “You have had a chance, it will be up to who deals with you on a second occasion, if there is a second occasion, to give you a second chance.”
Jepson denied possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence to another person but was convicted by a jury. He was at a flat with his partner and the other girl when he went home to get his air pistol. When his girlfriend was out of the room he told her friend, who he thought was interfering in the relationship, he had the list of people he wanted to kill.