Paul Chantler: Bexhill man aimed firearm at police officers responding to 999 call

A man has been jailed for aiming a firearm at police officers who were responding to a 999 call.

Wednesday, 25th August 2021, 4:29 pm

Paul Chantler was detained by the police after being struck by a baton round – a large rubber or plastic projectile shot from a special gun – fired by specialist firearms officers responding to an emergency call on March 24, 2019.

Police said the 49-year-old, who lived in York Road, Bexhill, had made threats to harm himself with a firearm, and when police arrived he shouted threats to ‘stay away’ as he retreated into his shed.

Chantler twice pointed the weapon at officers, police said, who feared being seriously harmed.

Paul Chantler. Picture: Sussex Police SUS-210825-162418001

But in order to ensure the safety of themselves, of Chantler, and of the public, the officers fired a baton round in order to make the arrest, police added.

Only later did the officers find out that the suspect was brandishing an air rifle, according to a spokesman.

Chantler, of York Road, Bexhill, admitted two counts of assaulting a police officer and one count of possessing a dangerous air weapon without a certificate when he appeared at Lewes Crown Court.

He was found not guilty of possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, police said.

Judge Mark Van Der Zwart sentenced him to a total of six months in prison over the incident, and said it was an extremely serious incident, while praising the officers as ‘brave men and women doing a dangerous job’.

‘The officers had been compassionate and caring, and displayed a firm sense of duty’, the judge said.