A VETERAN of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan shot at a "terrified" doorman outside a nightclub with a BB gun after the latter had thrown him out of a pub.

Former British Army soldier Daniel Lewis had vowed to shoot his victim, and the following night he jumped into a taxi and attempted to carry out his threat in Newport city centre.

The 32-year-old defendant took aim at Sebastian Ignatowicz with a BB gun outside the Courtyard club last November.


Newport Crown Court was told how the ex-servicemen then fled from the taxi and “camouflaged” himself with mud after hiding in nearby bushes.

Lewis, who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after two tours of duty, was soon arrested by police, but the gun was not recovered.

“The defendant bought the BB gun for £10 from a stall in Newport city centre as a Christmas present," said prosecuting counsel Owen Williams.

“He then went to the Ship and Pilot pub and drank five or six pints of lager before going to Mojos.

“The defendant said he was slightly drunk and was asked to leave by a big doorman.

“He said he felt threatened and intimidated by him, and he threatened to shoot him.”

Lewis, of Malpas Road, Newport, pleaded guilty to the possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.

Mr Williams said the defendant had five previous convictions for eight offences, including drink-driving and being drunk and disorderly.

Ben Waters, mitigating, said his client had experienced problems with alcohol and mental health issues.

“He suffers post-traumatic stress disorder from his time with the armed forces when he toured Iraq and Afghanistan," he said.

Lewis is receiving help from a veterans' mental health charity supporting veterans affected by anxiety, depression and PTSD.

“Recently, a 15-year-old relationship broke down and he had far too much time on his hands, which he used frequenting public houses," said Mr Waters.

“He has some recollection of the incident but accepts he was intoxicated.”

“He says the last six months have been hell.”

Judge Daniel Williams told Lewis: “On November 21 2019, you went to Mojos when you had a BB gun and a canister of pellets which you placed on the bar.

“You were asked to leave but it seemed as if you were waiting for the doorman to arrive.

“He had thrown you out of another pub the previous night.

“You threatened to come back and shoot him and then you left.”

The judge added: “Sometime later, you reappeared in a taxi. Mr Ignatowicz was outside The Courtyard.

“You had the BB gun and you discharged a pellet. It didn’t connect but he was terrified by what you did.

“When he approached the taxi, you ran off.

“The solutions to your problems do not lie at the bottom of a glass.”

The defendant was jailed for 12 months, suspended for 18 months.

He must also carry out 180 hours of unpaid work and complete a 20-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

Lewis must also pay £400 towards the prosecution costs and a £149 victim surcharge.