Man jailed for pulling fake gun in kebab shop in Wales when told to put on mask

1 June 2021, 16:03 | Updated: 1 June 2021, 16:31

By Emma Soteriou

A man has been jailed after he drew a fake gun in a kebab shop in Wales after being asked by staff to put on a face mask in line with Covid-19 regulations.

Paul Griffiths, 57, of Penrhys Road, Ystrad, walked into the ‘Rhondda Takeaway’ on Gelligaled Road at around 10.15pm on November 5th, 2020, intending to order food.

When he was asked to put a mask on to adhere to the Covid-19 rules in Wales, Griffiths refused, leading to the shop owner asking him to wait outside.

During a subsequent altercation, Griffiths pulled out a fake gun and pointed it at people in the shop.

The current rules for Wales state that face coverings must be worn in all indoor public places including on public transport and taxis, and in places where food and drink is served, other than when you are seated to eat or drink.

A delivery driver called police from the back of the shop, and armed officers arrived to arrested Griffiths minutes later.

The fake gun was discovered to be a CO2 powered paintball-type firearm which is prohibited.

After getting a warrant to search his house, police discovered Griffiths also had cannabis factory.

Read more: Police discover £2 million in cannabis plants being grown at disused bingo hall

The officer in charge of the police investigation, Detective Constable Lucy Robins, said: "Griffiths’ actions that night were plain stupid and reckless.

"The people inside the shop that night genuinely feared for their lives.

“I would like to praise the actions of the owner who acted calmly and put the safety of others first by trying to keep Griffiths inside the takeaway.

"The delivery driver raised the alarm quickly which ensured our armed officers were on the scene in minutes while he was still inside the premises.”

Griffiths was charged with possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, possessing a prohibited weapon, and cannabis production.

He appeared at Merthyr Tydfil Magistrates Court on 20 May for sentence after pleading guilty and was jailed for 20 months.