Gunman who terrorized quiet town to receive psychiatric treatment, judge rules

A man who terrorized a quiet town by pointing a rifle, which later turned out to be an airgun, at residents will receive psychiatric treatment in a specialized unit, a judge ruled.

The incident, which occurred in November 2020, led to a school closure and roads cordoned off as armed police prepared to arrest Michael Reynolds.

Footage recorded by a passerby in the village of Quorn has emerged on social media showing Reynolds pinned to the road after he was hit with a rubber bullet by police officers, Leicestershire Live reports.

Reynolds, 51, was charged with possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.

However, he was deemed unfit to plead guilty at an early stage of the hearing at Leicester Crown Court due to poor health.

Instead, a jury then heard evidence not to establish guilt or innocence, but to consider whether he committed the act as described by the prosecution. The jury decided yes.

On Friday, Judge Keith Raynor issued a hospital order under section 39 of the Mental Health Act, to ensure Reynolds continues to receive psychiatric treatment at a medium security hospital.

The situation arose shortly after noon on Wednesday, November 11, 2020, when a motorist driving down Quorn’s High Street turned right onto Sarson Street and saw a man standing in the middle of the road holding an air rifle.

The witness immediately alerted police and kept an eye on the man, following him on foot from a distance down Castledine Street towards Barrow Road.

Meanwhile, staff at Rawlins Academy, on Loughborough Road in the town, moved quickly to close down the school.

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Reynolds made his way to the High Street and walked towards the Co-op store where the doors were also locked to protect staff and customers.

At the corner of Sarson Street he raised the rifle and aimed it at a bus stop near the school. Several sixth-year students and a staff member were nearby at the time.

A police officer with the gun on the pavement
A police officer with the gun on the pavement

Armed response officers arrived and told Reynolds to drop the gun, which was later found to be loaded.

A rubber bullet was fired and Reynolds ended up on the floor where he was disarmed and arrested.

Judge Raynor said: “I determined at a previous hearing that he was not fit to plead guilty, having considered the psychiatric evidence in the case and a jury found that he did ‘the act’, that is, being in possession of the gun fire.

He said that Reynolds had a “well-documented mental health history” and that reports from two psychiatrists confirmed that he suffered from mental illness.

In September of last year, Reynolds was transferred from the prison to the hospital where he is now receiving treatment.

The judge said: “He has been taking medication regularly and is responding well and has engaged with those who offer help and treatment.”

He said psychiatric experts estimated that Reynolds, now 51, would need six to 12 months of additional treatment before he could be gradually reintroduced into the community with a “robust package of social support and care” that would allow a ” Fast recovery”. readmission” to a psychiatric unit, if necessary.

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The judge said the defendant’s condition included schizoid symptoms with paranoid delusional beliefs, auditory hallucinations and a manic-depressive mood.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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