Man who aimed loaded sawn-off shotgun at house window is jailed

A CONVICTED burglar on licence who aimed a loaded sawn-off shotgun at the window of a terrified man’s home has been jailed for six years.

John Semeniuk travelled from his home in Keighley with the firearm, a balaclava and gloves to an address in Saltburn Street, Elland, late on April 15, Bradford Crown Court heard today.

He pointed the gun at an upstairs window at the property prompting the householder to dial 999, prosecutor Jonathan Sharp said.

The victim recalled that Semeniuk tried to discharge the weapon but it jammed. He left the scene but returned to hide in a yard where firearms officers found him with the gun loaded and cocked.

Mr Sharp said Semeniuk, of Parkwood Rise in Keighley, lied to the police about why he went to the address and his probation officer was sceptical about his later version of events. His motives remained unclear, the court was told.

He pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence and possession of a prohibited weapon.

Semeniuk’s criminal record of 24 convictions for 80 offences included matters of violence, numerous burglaries and an offence of supplying class A drugs.

He was on licence at the time after being imprisoned for nine years and four months in 2015 for a conspiracy to burgle with three other men.

The court heard they preyed on vulnerable and elderly people in West Yorkshire by posing as Water Board officials to burgle their homes.

The gang stole thousands of pounds during 21 offences committed over a three-month period. They claimed their victims’ homes were about to flood before demanding to be let in.

Semeniuk’s barrister, Mark McKone, said he was acting alone this time and made no attempt to enter the house.

The gun he had with him was “not the most sinister weapon to come before the courts” and the ammunition did not require a Firearms Certificate.

Although different accounts had been put forward as to why Semeniuk went to the property, his intention was to frighten as opposed to injure.

The offences of violence on his record took place a long time ago and were not of the most serious, Mr McKone said.

Judge Jonathan Gibson said it seemed that Semeniuk was given the firearm but provided two different accounts of why he went to the address with it.

It was loaded with a live round in one barrel and he terrified the man when he pointed it at his house.

“He was terrified then and has been terrified since,” Judge Gibson said.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus | News