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Northern Ireland imitation firearm incident lands taxi driver jail sentence

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A 49-year-old man has been sentenced to 20 months at Laganside Crown Court for possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.

Brian Stalford pled guilty to the offence on 14 May this year. He received a sentence of 10 months in prison, followed by 10 months on licence. The sentencing took place on Tuesday 2 July.

The incident, which occurred on 1 June 2023, involved a Fonacab taxi driver. Footage from a vehicle dashcam was widely circulated on social media, showing the driver threatening a front seat passenger with what appeared to be a firearm.

Detective Sergeant Hughes commented on the case, emphasising the serious nature of the offence. He noted that Mr Stalford was swiftly identified and arrested at his home following the video’s circulation.

Detective Sergeant Hughes said: “On 1 June 2023, footage of a vehicle dash cam pertaining to a Fonacab taxi driver was shared across social media platforms. The footage shows the taxi driver threatening another male in the front passenger seat with what appeared to be a suspected firearm. Following the circulation of the video, the taxi driver was identified by Police as Mr Stalford and arrested at his home address.  

“Today’s sentencing sends a message that the possession or use of firearms, imitation or otherwise, is unacceptable in any modern society. We are committed to apprehending perpetrators and this demonstrates our commitment towards tackling violence against any member of the public who finds themselves in harm’s way.”


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