A GUNMAN brought terror to a Gwent town when he brandished an air rifle, shot it into the air and threatened to kill his neighbours.

A policeman fled in terror when he was confronted by the gun-toting Matthew Greaves before armed police were deployed to Abertillery.

Following a tense stand-off with firearms officers which lasted 90 minutes, the defendant surrendered, prosecutor Roger Griffiths told Cardiff Crown Court.

Greaves was slammed by his neighbour Adele James who said he had made fellow residents’ life hell since he moved into their street two years ago.

South Wales Argus:

Matthew Greaves’ air rifle. Picture: CPS


Through a victim personal statement read by Mr Griffiths, she told the court: “He’s caused huge stress.

“He’s the bullying type but I won’t be bullied. He had his neighbours walking on eggshells.

“He appeared to be a law onto himself.”

Greaves, 43, of Carlyle Street, Abertillery, pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence to PC Richard Davies, PC Ifan Sullivan and Adele James.

The day before, Mr Griffiths said, the defendant had walked into a corner shop with the gun and racially abused the owner Aputrajah Appudukki.

Greaves demanded money he claimed he was owed for building work.

Before the armed siege, he had shouted at his neighbour Ian Lamy and caused criminal damage to his letter box.

He also admitted harassment, criminal damage and public disorder.

The offences were committed on February 7 and 8.

Greaves had previous convictions, which included causing grievous bodily harm.

Gareth Williams, representing Greaves, said: “The defendant is sorry for the pain and suffering he has caused his neighbours.

“He realises he was an utter nuisance. He was drinking too much.

“When he’s not drinking, he’s capable of being a much nicer person.

“The defendant will not be going back to that address.”

Judge Michael Fitton QC told Greaves: “You were out of control. You were waving an air rifle around in the street.

South Wales Argus: Matthew Greaves’ air rifle. Picture: CPS

Matthew Greaves’ air rifle. Picture: CPS

“You were making threats to kill with your air rifle.

“When a police officer came to your door, you confronted him with the gun and a dog.

“He was so frightened, he ran off. Armed police were called.

“You fired your gun into the air and reloaded it before you retreated into your house.”

Judge Fitton classed Greaves as a dangerous offender and jailed him for a total of six years and four months.

That was made of a custodial sentence of four years and four months and an extended licence period of two years.

The defendant was also made the subject of a seven-year restraining order and pay a victim surcharge after his release from prison.