Man jailed for nine years for imitation firearm threats and burglary

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A 25-year-old man from Bulwell has been sentenced to nine years in prison after threatening people with an imitation firearm and burgling four houses. 

Ashleigh Sims formerly of no fixed abode appeared at Nottingham Crown Court on Thursday (20 April 2017) having previously pleaded guilty to possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, possession of an imitation firearm whilst committing an assault occasioning actual bodily harm, assault occasioning actual bodily harm as well as four house burglaries.

The court heard how on Saturday 30 July 2016 Sims went out in Bulwell and approached a man on Lillington Road. He placed an imitation firearm to his head leading him to believe that it was real before threatening to shoot him. Sims then went onto the Horse shoe pub in Bulwell where he showed two men that he had a firearm, but didn’t say it wasn’t real. He then made his way to the Londis shop in Highbury Road, Bulwell where he used the imitation firearm to assault another man.

By this point Sims was wanted by police and is believed to have gone on the run. A stolen vehicle was found abandoned in Bulwell and an imitation firearm matching that used by Sims in the earlier offences was found in the boot. Sims was then found to have committed house burglaries in Devon, Cornwall and two in Yorkshire having left DNA at the scene.

On Thursday December 8 2016 intelligence led officers to a campsite in Holmfirth near Huddersfield where they arrested Sims. At the time he was living in a caravan from which items from one of the burglaries were recovered.

During his appearance at Nottingham Crown Court Sims admitted that the imitation firearm that had been recovered from the car was the item he had used during the incidents on the 30 July 2016.

Detective Inspector Martin Putnar of Nottinghamshire Police said “Ashleigh Sims was clearly a very cold and calculated individual who seemed to gain pleasure from threatening people making them believe he would kill them. Although the firearm we found was not a real weapon we feel that Sims was a dangerous man so we are pleased with this lengthy sentence. I would like to thank all of the officers involved in the search and arrest of this man as well as the intelligence teams, as without the information they uncovered, this man may still have been be at large.”