Telford man pointed crossbow at people's heads as children played nearby, court hears
Terrified members of the public were threatened with a crossbow while children played nearby, a court heard.
Stuart Penn aimed the weapon at multiple people during a rampage in the Leegomery area of Telford on July 28, asking if they were 'Alex' or knew where 'Alex' was.
Shrewsbury Crown Court heard how the 39-year-old pressed the crossbow against one man's head as he questioned him.
Prosecutor Richard Davenport told the court Penn was first seen by a witness in Leegate Avenue at around 8.45pm, and had pointed the crossbow directly at his head.
From there, Penn went to Hurleybrook Way where he aimed the weapon at another man, asking if he knew 'Alex'.
A short time later, also in Hurleybrook Way, he approached another man and brought the crossbow up to his face, so the tip was touching his forehead.
The man hit the crossbow away and it discharged, with the bolt hitting a nearby house.
One witness described Penn as being in an "agitated state, pacing up and down and talking to himself," said Mr Davenport.
Police were called and armed officers and dog units were sent to the area. Penn was detained and taken to hospital, then to the police station where he refused to answer questions.
Mr Davenport said the first witness's statement described how his "heart was racing" when the crossbow was pointed at him – while children played in the park nearby.
The third man said in his statement: "At the point the crossbow was touching my head I was panicking, I thought I was going to get seriously hurt.
"Had I not moved the crossbow out of the way I dread to think what might have happened.
"He seemed intent on causing harm to someone."
Penn, of Castle Street, Hadley, Telford, has admitted charges of affray, threatening a person with an offensive weapon and possession of an offensive weapon in a public place.
The court heard he has seven previous convictions for 17 offences, including battery, robbery and racially aggravated assault.
Judge Anthony Lowe adjourned sentencing until January 30 for a further psychiatric report and Penn will remain in custody until that date. He has been told to expect a custodial sentence.
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