Pilot who broke into wife’s home walks free
A FORMER riverboat pilot who broke into his estranged wife’s home and pointed an imitation gun at a police officer has been spared jail.
Phillip Laity was told by a judge he was being given a suspended sentence because it had been almost three years since the offences were committed.
Maidstone Crown Court heard the 46-year-old father had just returned from Australia when he went to the former matrimonial home in Chestnut Lane, Park Farm, in July 2004.
Bridget Todd, prosecuting, told the court his wife Zoe was out but her parents were in.
Laity rang the doorbell but the couple did not let him in, Miss Todd said.
But from an upstairs window, they saw him go to his car, take out a rock and use it to smash a window and enter the house.
The couple came downstairs and pleaded with Laity to go, but he was abusive and said it was his house, Miss Todd said.
She said Laity grabbed the couple and frogmarched them to the front door, telling them he wanted them out of the house.
He picked up the rock and told them: “Get out of the house or I will smash your heads in.”
Mrs Laity’s mother shouted to neighbours to call the police, and PCs Luke Saunders and Robert Scott-Mackie arrived.
They found Laity in bed, and he shouted: “Get out of my house.”
The officers went downstairs to try to find a telephone number for Mrs Laity.
When PC Scott-Mackie went back upstairs, he was confronted by Laity brandishing a pistol.
“He feared it was real and loaded and would go off,” Miss Todd said.
PC Scott-Mackie pinned Laity to the bed, and PC Saunders wrenched the pistol from his hand and threw it on the floor.
Laity told them the gun was not real, but PC Scott-Mackie replied: “It looks real.
“How did I know it wasn’t real when you pointed it at me?”
Laity, of Stanford House, Station Road, Rainham, admitted possessing a BB gun with intent to cause fear of violence and common assault.
He was jailed for 48 weeks, suspended for two years, and ordered to pay £165 compensation to Mrs Laity, now his ex-wife, and £750 court costs.