Bad blood led to gun threat from masked ex-friend in Houghton Regis

Court news.
Court news.

Houghton Regis man Nathan Nelson has been jailed for 30 months for pointing an imitation gun at two people.

Nelson, 25, was riding a mountain bike when he approached Jack Fowler, who was sitting in his dad’s car.

Jack Fowler told Luton Crown Court last week that he recognised the defendant, even though he was wearing a mask.

He said Nelson stopped on his bike just six feet from him and then reached into a black cloth bag.

With his hand still in the bag which was pulled tight, Nelson then raised it.

“He gestured it towards me and my family. I thought it may be a handgun in the bag.

“I believe he said he was going to shoot me. I was quite worried for the safety of my family.”

It happened at around 5.15pm on July 3 this year as Jack Fowler, his dad Phillip, his stepmum and his then girlfriend were leaving the Nisa Local store in Neptune Square.

They made their way across the car park to Phillip Fowler’s maroon Volvo car and were getting into it when two men on mountain bikes appeared nearby.

Jack Fowler said the gun was pointed at him and he felt “very scared.”

The court heard Nelson reached into a bag and said: “I am going to kill you.”

Continuing his evidence he told the court “I said to my dad ‘I think we better go Dad’.”

He said he then pushed his girlfriend’s head down fearing Nelson was about to shoot at the car.

Jack Fowler said he had known Nelson for around five years. The court heard they had been friends but had fallen out a couple of weeks earlier and there was “bad blood” between them.

Prosecutor Neil King told the jury that three quarters of an hour later, at around 6pm, Nelson was seen having an altercation on the street with another young man.

Mr King said that, once again, he produced a black bag and, with his hand inside it, pointed towards the other man.

Jack Fowler said because the black bag was pulled tight around Mr Nelson’s hand he thought there could have been a gun inside.

Nelson, of Tithe Farm Road in Houghton Regis, pleaded not guilty to two counts of possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, but was convicted by the jury of both charges.

Judge Barbara Mensah jailed him for 15 months for each offence consecutively.