'I will fill you full of holes': Gunman terrified couple with pistol as he tried to goad West Yorkshire Police officers into shooting him in public

A man terrified a husband and wife by pointing a gun at their heads and threatening to shoot them in the street.

Thursday, 30th July 2020, 4:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 30th July 2020, 10:18 pm

The victims believed they would be shot when Mark Kitchen confronted them with the weapon during the 'unusual' incident in Pontefract.

Leeds Crown Court heard Kitchen committed the offence as part of his plan to get police officers to shoot him after he had a row with his girlfriend.

Kitchen, 38, confronted the couple, aged in their 60s, as they walked along a dimly-lit path on Atkinson Lane shortly after they got off a train at Monkhill station on March 4 this year at 7.30pm.

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Mark Kitchen was jailed for 32 months for possession of an imitation firearm

Louise Gallagher, prosecuting, said Kitchen pulled out a large black pistol and aimed it at the husband's head as his wife screamed in terror

Kitchen asked the man if he had a mobile phone and said: "I will shoot you. I want you to phone someone."

Ms Gallagher said the husband had served in the army and has some knowledge of guns.

He formed the view that Kitchen was holding an air pistol.

He told his wife to walk away and get help.

Kitchen cocked the pistol and said: "Stop. I will shoot you. I will fill you full of holes."

The woman went to a house to raise the alarm as Kitchen said: "Knock on the door and I will shoot."

As she knocked on the door the defendant said: "When you talk to the police say it was a man with a gun with a green top on."

Kitchen was wearing a green jacket at the time of the incident.

The homeowner answered the door and found the woman in a hysterical state.

Kitchen left the area and the couple went to a nearby pub and called police.

The defendant was arrested after being identified as the gunman.

Ms Gallagher said Kitchen had had an argument with his girlfriend earlier that day and went to the pub.

He drank 12 pints before returning home to get the pistol from his games room then went back out and committed the offence.

The court heard his partner had been trying to end their relationship as she was fed up with his behaviour.

Kitchen was interviewed by police and told officers he had thrown the weapon into a beck after the incident.

The gun has not been recovered.

The prosecutor said: "In interview he made full admissions.

"He said his initial motivation was to get the police to shoot him."

Kitchen, of Birch Green, Pontefract, pleaded guilty to possession of an imitation firearm

The couple provided victim statements to the court describing how they feared they would be shot.

The wife stated: "I am terrified by what's happened.

"I have never seen a gun before in public.

"I believed the gun was real and the man could have killed us both with it.

"I don't think I will ever be able to walk that route again."

Richard Canning, mitigating, said: "This is an unusual case.

"He was not actually going out there intending to cause anybody any kind of alarm or distress.

"That is simply a consequence of his actions.

"The motivation was, sadly, to be shot himself.

"There are severe mental health problems here which the probation service recognise could be treated in the community."

The barrister added: "This is not someone who has decided to take a gun out and terrify people for his enjoyment."

Kitchen was jailed for 32 months.

Judge Robin Mairs said: "His wife was understandably terrified and, quite frankly, hysterical.

"You repeatedly threatened to shoot them and fill them full of holes.

"This may be an unusual case but the fear and the terror that was felt by the unfortunate victims would be that of anyone threatened with a firearm.

"You were heavily in drink and wallowing in self pity."