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Gun prank backfires drunken woman; She claims she was just messing about with weapon.

Byline: ROB KENNEDY

A DRUNKEN dare cost Jane McComb her freedom when a prank backfired.

She went into the street armed with a gun and began pointing it at passers-by.

One woman driver was left in terror when McComb pointed the rifle at her with a 'blank but determined' look in her eyes and her hand on the trigger.

And as the drama unfolded the area went into lockdown, with the street sealed off, schools told to keep children inside, traffic at a standstill, and the armed response unit on the streets.

Now the 21-year-old, who claimed she had done it as a dare after drinking, is starting a 12 month prison sentence.

McComb, 21, of Park Avenue, Whitley Bay, went into the street with the gun in January. Gemma Bowmaker was driving on Burnside Road, Cullercoats, when she saw McComb step into the road.

Andrew Rutter, prosecuting, said: "As she got closer she saw the woman had a large rifle and the defendant was pointing it at Miss Bowmaker and had her hand on the trigger.

"Not surprisingly she was terrified and began to reverse but the defendant followed her.

"She said the defendant had a blank but determined expression on her face and said she was scared for her life and believed she was going to be shot."

Miss Bowmaker managed to reverse away, phoned police, then broke down. As she left the scene, cabbie Erik Johannsen saw McComb standing in the road. He said she had the rifle at her hip then lifted it and pointed at him.

The cabbie, who has a military background, was able to tell the gun was an air rifle but was still shocked.

He drove off and another witness saw McComb pointing the weapon at a house.

Armed police were called and when she was arrested she said she had just been messing about for a dare.

Brian Mark, defending, said McComb, who admitted affray at Newcastle Crown Court, had problems with alcohol.

He added: "As spectacular as these events may appear, in her mind she had no intention of causing a serious incident that day."

CAPTION(S):

DARE Jane McComb DRAMA Police pounce on a man during the gun terror which gripped the suburban streets of the seaside resort
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Aug 3, 2011
Words:379
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