Hospital drama gunman jailed

w4145b102 Mark Johnson appearing at Wakefield Magistrates Court.
w4145b102 Mark Johnson appearing at Wakefield Magistrates Court.

A GUNMAN who caused terror when he took a loaded pistol into Pinderfields Hospital has been jailed for 16 weeks.

Mark Johnson, claimed it was an “error” that he was carrying a high powered Walther CP99 when he went to visit a friend in hospital on December 23. He said he used the gun for target practice.

Wakefield magistrates heard how a member of staff spotted the realistic-looking handgun.

The pistol and ammunition were seized from him.

Passing sentence, Anita Calton, said: “The aggravating features that we have found is that you were carrying a firearm in a public place. And we feel it’s made even worse that it was in a hospital.”

The magistrate said people had been put in fear.

Hard-of-hearing Johnson, 52, looked shocked as he was led him away in handcuffs.

His solicitor, Katie Edmondson, had earlier told the court that she feared Johnson would struggle in custody. She said Johnson was an epileptic who had suffered numerous falls and injuries. Miss Edmondson said jail would have an “extreme impact on his health”.

She also explained how Johnson had lived in Canada in the past where it was normal for someone to carry a gun. He spent time on an Indian Reservation and cleaned guns for the Canadian Police.

Miss Edmondson said this wasn’t a case of putting people in fear.

At an earlier hearing Johnson, of Duke of York Avenue, Portobello, admitted possessing a loaded air weapon in a public place. He has a previous similar caution.

Mrs Calton ordered the gun to be destroyed.