A man at the end of his tether when he pulled a fake gun on two detectives and a stranger he tried to rob, mouthed “sorry” to the woman DC as he was jailed for six years and eight months.
Burnley Crown Court was told Dale Fallows was on a waiting list to see mental health workers when he attempted to rob churchgoer Vincent Yelland as he and family friend Stephen Kelly walked along Brennand Street, Burnley, on a July afternoon.
Fallows (35), of Melville Street, Burnley, pulled the plastic BB gun from his waistband and pointed it at Mr Yelland’s face, and demanded his cash before putting the gun away saying: “I’ve just pulled a gun on you, and I don’t even know you.”
Mr Yelland was minded to let the incident go, but his family persuaded him to report it to the police.
Detectives Julie Leigh and John Penson were outside Mr Yelland’s house when DC Leigh spotted Fallows as fitting a description they had just been given. When she asked to speak to him Fallows pulled out the gun, pointed it at them and then at his own head.
“You are a dead cop walking,” he said, and cocked the gun. Former serviceman DC Penson believed the gun was real and pressed his emergency button for back up. Fallows told him: “I’d do you. I’d shoot you dead.”
DC Leigh tried to dial 999 without him noticing. When she then got her phone out and called for help Fallows ran off. Police armed with a Taser and side arms were directed by a crowd of onlookers to where he had gone.
Mr Paul Hodgkinson (defending) said Fallows had seen his life disintegrate before his eyes.
“He is incredibly grateful for the professional way in which the officers conducted themselves,” he said. “I might have been representing him at an inquest, but they did not do anything and didn’t Taser him, and he will be grateful for ever.”
Mr Hodgkinson said Fallows felt his life was out of control. From being eight he had seen his mother die from MS.
Two days after she died his new-born son diagnosed with an extremely serious condition and his long-term partner was also ill. He tried to kill himself last year, added Mr Hodgkinson.