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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 July, 2005, 16:03 GMT 17:03 UK
Man jailed for attacking youths
A farm worker has been jailed for six years after he attacked a gang of youths with a machete and shotgun because they had allegedly plagued him.

Jack Rylance, 59, lost his temper with the group congregating around the flats where he lived in King's Lynn, Norfolk.

Rylance threw a firework, hit one with the flat part of the machete and then fired a shotgun from a balcony.

William Carter defending at Norwich Crown Court said: "They would set fire to property and urinate on the stairs."

Mr Carter said Rylance phoned police twice to complain about the youths on the night of the incident.

'Life made hell'

"He was consistently plagued over the years by gangs of young men and girls," Mr Carter told the court.

"He estimates that a dozen times or so he phoned the police to see if he could get anything done. The problem remained and for several years his life had been made hell and he was at his wits' end."

Mr Carter said the gun was normally used for scaring crows and the cartridge filled with salt.

Judge Ian Foster told Rylance: "I accept that you were badly treated and abused by youths in your area but it is an extremely serious matter.

"To hit someone with albeit the flat and not the blade of a machete is bad enough but then you made the matter worse by discharging a firearm."

He was sentenced for possessing a shotgun without a firearm's certificate, wounding with intent and affray.

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