A MAN feared for his life when another man pursued him with an air pistol in the early hours in Bournemouth, a court heard.

Nathan Luke Bartlett was jailed for 16 months after admitting offences of having an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence and possession of a baseball bat.

Bartlett, 33 and of Manor Road, Hayling Island, was said to be “waving” the air pistol around and “screaming incoherently” as his victim was trying to get help from a taxi driver in Southbourne.

Judge Jonathan Fuller QC said Bartlett’s victim “thought this was it”.

Bournemouth Crown Court was told the air pistol was incapable of being fired due to a leak in the gas cannister.

Prosecuting, Sally Daulton said that the defendant entered the flat of his then girlfriend with a baseball bat in his hands at about 2am on October 11, 2020.

This was after he became “fixated” on the idea that the victim was supplying her drugs and encouraging her to drink alcohol.

Bartlett, who was described as “looking angry”, pushed past his partner at the top of the stairs and entered the living room where he saw the male victim.

Bournemouth Echo: Nathan Bartlett was jailed for 16 months by Judge Fuller QCNathan Bartlett was jailed for 16 months by Judge Fuller QC

This man was said to have felt threatened, so he grabbed part of the bat and pulled Bartlett round before running away on foot. Bartlett got in his car and drove until he found the victim nearby.

He got out of his vehicle and punched the man before the complainant ran off.

The victim sought help from a taxi driver but they would not let him enter the vehicle.

Bartlett pursued the man, but on this occasion when he got out and approached the taxi he was carrying “what looked like a real gun” before telling the taxi driver to “**** off”.

Again the victim made off, finding shelter in an alleyway down the side of a garage. He waited until he thought it was safe before calling a taxi for a lift home.

Bartlett returned to the address. Police had been called and he was arrested. On the way to the police station, the defendant reportedly said he “should have smashed the man’s head in”.

The court heard that prior to the incident Bartlett had drunk a whole bottle of gin.

Mitigating, Rose Burns said the defendant suffers with mental health problems and has an undiagnosed mental disorder.

“When he’s under some kind of mental pressure that he cannot endure, he tends to turn to drink,” she said

Mrs Burns said he worked as a courier with a logistics company. She said the offence was out of character and her client expressed his remorse.

Judge Jonathan Fuller said the victim “was absolutely terrified and it has had a long lasting impact on him”.

He noted there was considerable mitigation, with the defendant having no previous convictions, however, concluded that he could not impose a suspended sentence.

Alongside the prison term, the judge issued a five-year restraining order and forfeiture of the air pistol, baseball bat and a knife found during police’s investigation.