London

Man shot at neighbour's alarm in St John's Wood

A man has been sentenced to community work after he admitted shooting at a neighbour's alarm system.

Peter Shalson's neighbour's alarm went off "almost non-stop" for seven hours, a day before he was due to undergo treatment for stress, a court heard.

The neighbours were away from their home in Hamilton Terrace, St John's Wood, north-west London, last January.

Shalson, 54, admitted possessing a firearm with intent to cause criminal damage and causing criminal damage.

'Enormous distress'

Shalson was sentenced to 100 hours for possessing a firearm and another 100 hours for causing damage to doors, a lamp, windows and a burglar alarm.

The businessman, who fired twice at the alarm, was also ordered to pay £520 in costs by Southwark Crown Court.

The court heard Shalson's wife was ill in bed and he was due to fly to Austria as he was almost on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

Neighbours Norman and Cindy Dawood were in Warwickshire and had tried to resolve the issue after Shalson contacted them through text messages. He shot at the alarm just before 0200 GMT.

Judge John Price told Shalson he had committed a serious offence which caused "enormous distress" to the neighbours.

The two parties also had a history of disputes.

The judge said: "You were in an extremely distressed state and I entirely accept that you were under great stress and that is why you behaved in a way which you would never have acted before."

In a statement Shalson said the incident was "the result of a single moment of irrationality".

He said: "I had communicated with my neighbours, who were not at their home, to try and arrange for the alarms to be silenced but when this proved not to be possible and after such a prolonged period of incessant, piercing noise, with the police having visited and not taken any action, I felt I had to stop the noise."

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