FIRE & FURY The shooter shoots two young people with an air rifle after it reaches boiling point while playing soccer

A GUNMAN opened fire with an air rifle at a group of youths after they started playing soccer outside his house.

Samuel Field, 29, reached boiling point after being bullied by anti-social behavior near his home in South Shields, Tyneside.

Field, now County Durham, and his neighbors have made repeated reports to police about the behavior.

But on the evening of April 7, Field's associates called officers again after a group of 10 to 15 teenagers started playing soccer in the lanes around their home.

The woman began filming the young men outside her window in an attempt to gather evidence for the police, Chronicle Live reports.

Kevin Wardlaw, the prosecutor, told Newcastle Crown Court: "They realized he was making footage of them playing football and someone in the group was rude to the woman at the window.

"He told them, in no uncertain terms, to go and say he was recording what was going on."

Field then went outside and confronted the group and took the ball from a 15 year old boy before threatening to hit the boys.

Wardlaw said: "The accused returned home and what happened next is captured in a short video clip which shows the accused coming to the window with an air rifle, which he fired at the youths."

A field shot with an air rifle hit the 15-year-old's head, while another shot hit the girl's inner thigh.

None of the youths were seriously injured, and the group fled from the gunman.

The boy said in the victim's statement: "As soon as I saw him with the gun I knew he would. He had no right to do it.

"I probably won't go back there now. I don't want this to happen again, anything can happen."

Field told police in an interview that when he fired his gun, he didn't mean to hit them and instead meant to frighten them.

The 29-year-old, who said he had a number of air guns but had no prior conviction, pleaded guilty to possessing a fake firearm with the intent to stir up fear of violence and general assault.

Vic Laffey, the defense, said: "He was a nice person who reached the end of his mooring and did something he accepted was totally inappropriate.

"He and others around him have experienced a lot of abuse, property damage and the like, from youths in the area.

"He said for about 12 months, sometimes up to ten times a week, he had been reporting this.

"When, on this particular night some abuse was directed at his girlfriend, he reached the end of his moorings and did something very stupid, which fortunately did not result in serious injury.

"At least that brings trouble. He has left the area altogether."

Judge Sarah Mallett sentenced Field to 14 months suspended for 21 months with rehabilitation.

He was also ordered to pay £50 to each of the two children he shot along with a £100 fine.

The judge told him: "It is an inappropriate response to build up frustration and anti-social behavior that impacts your life.

"There is no indication that the children you beat were responsible for the anti-social behavior you complained about.

"You have shown genuine remorse and have moved and dispensed with aerial guns. No doubt it is very serious to fire mock firearms at a group of individuals, let alone children."

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