COUNTY NEWS: Man admits having fake gun that shut schools

Heene CE Primary School was one of two schools put in lock down. Picture: Eddie Mitchell SUS-170505-082633001
Heene CE Primary School was one of two schools put in lock down. Picture: Eddie Mitchell SUS-170505-082633001

The man arrested for possession of a fake gun after two Sussex schools were put on lockdown last month has pleaded guilty.

Pupils and staff at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School and Heene C of E Primary School near Victoria Park in Worthing were kept inside on May 4 in the afternoon while police swept the area after a report of a man with a firearm.

Once satisfied the area was safe the schools allowed children to go homeas normal.

Richard Gray, 36, of Cortis Avenue in Broadwater was arrested later that night after a member of the public told police he showed her a gun in his bag in Stoke Abbot Road.

Gray was charged with possession of an imitation firearm in a public place and possession of a knife in a public place.

Detective Constable Sebastian Day said at the time: “We can reassure the parents and pupils of local schools, and the wider public in general, that the item seized from the suspect is described as a plastic imitation gun.”

Gray appeared at Horsham Magistrates’ Court on Monday, where he pleaded guilty to both charges.

He is due to appear for sentencing at Crawley Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, May 29.