LONDON – Gunman Konzani Ncube terrified six shop workers and customers by pointing a handgun at their heads and threatening to pull the trigger as he rampaged through a town.
The 42-year-old former teacher’s afternoon of terror started when he walked into Go Eat sandwich shop, in Trentham Road, Dresden, and stared at customer Anthony Bomporola and staff.
Prosecutor Kevin Grego told Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court Ncube pulled the gun out of his coat at about midday on November 12.
Grego said: “He pointed it at Bomporola’s face from about six feet away and said he was going to shoot him.
“Claire Kirk-Vickers, who works at the shop, bravely put herself between the defendant and Bomporola.
“The defendant turned and grabbed her by her right arm, jarring her arm back as he did so.
“He pointed the weapon at her forehead, one inch away from her, and said he would shoot her.”
Kirk-Vickers recalled the moment she confronted Ncube before calmly asking him to leave.
She said: “I was saying, ‘Will you please leave my shop’.
“He grabbed my right hand and I told the staff to ring 999. He started backing off towards the front door and said, ‘I will shoot you’.
“He pointed the gun about one inch from my forehead. I said, ‘Go on then, why?’
“I had customers in the shop, I just wanted him to leave. I was distressed about what could have happened.”
After Ncube left he was followed by Bomporola and his colleague Dean Lavick as he made his way into Longton town centre.
Grego said: “The defendant pulled the weapon out and pointed it directly at their works van.
“He entered B&M with the gun in his hand.
“Shopper Carman Hazeldine moved past him with her trolley and he shouted at her.
“He said, ‘I have just come out the Army, I can use this in here’. He produced the gun and pointed the barrel at her face, about two feet away from her.
“She had no idea whether it was real or not. He waved the gun and she turned away and alerted a member of staff.
“He then approached Dawn Moore. He put the gun to her head, against her left temple.”
Moore revealed how she feared she would be shot.
She said: “I was petrified. His finger was on the trigger and he was pointing it against my head. I could feel my heart rate going high.”
Sarah Robinson, who was working at the shop, was approached by Ncube.
Grego said: “He said he wanted something and said where is the pain. The defendant reached in his coat and pulled out the air weapon. It was pointed close to her face. He said, ‘Do you want to die?’.
“She was on auto pilot and told him where to find painkillers.”
Police arrived and used force to detain the defendant.
Ncube, of Sandcrest Place, Meir, later pleaded guilty to assault and six charges of possession of an firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.
Jason Holt, mitigating, said Ncube had no explanation as to why he behaved like he did.
Holt said: “He regrets his actions. They are out of character. Drinking has been a problem.”
Jailing Ncube for five years and three months, Judge David Fletcher said: “All of these six people were most definitely under the impression that what was being pointed at them was a real handgun and something that could have caused injury or death.
“This is exactly the sort of behaviour that society will not and should not countenance.
“This was a terrifying series of acts by you.”
The judge awarded Kirk-Vickers and Robinson £300 from the High Sheriff of Staffordshire for their bravery. – The Sentinel