Surgeon made ‘flippant’ threat to fire shotgun in heated family meeting

Court news.
Court news.

An eye surgeon who insisted he only made a ‘flippant remark’ when he made a threat to shoot his gun, lost an appeal to hold a firearms licence.

Ex Pilgrim Hospital consultant Mohamed Abdel-Khalek admitted making the remark in a heated family meeting at his home in April last year.

But the keen shooting enthusiast told an appeal hearing that in his culture the remark was not to be taken seriously and he had no intention of using his shotgun, which at the time was kept in a locked case on the third floor of his home.

Mr Abdel-Khalek, 63, of Spilsby Road, Boston, was appealing a decision to revoke his shotgun licence made by Lincolnshire Police.

The hearing at Lincoln Magistrates Court was told the remark made by Mr Abdel-Khalek was picked up on an audio recording made by his son, Karim.

In the audio Mr Abdel-Khalek was heard to say: “This is going to turn very bloody, I go and bring the gun and shoot it,” the hearing was told.

But, giving evidence Mr Abdel-Khalek insisted he never intended to carry out the threat. “This was a flippant remark, I do not suffer fools gladly,” Mr Abdel-Khalek told the hearing.

The hearing was told two policemen reviewed the case following the recording and no criminal charges were brought. Mr Abdel-Khalek’s shotgun licence was revoked after a report was made by firearms officer Andy Roach.

Judge John John Pini QC, refusing the appeal, said it was clear Mr Abdel-Khalek is a successful and capable doctor.

“Mr Adbel-Khalek has claimed this has been lost in translation and in his culture hyperbolic language is used,” Judge Pini said. “He was on the board of directors and has been a part of the community for 35 years, working for the NHS for numerous years.”

But Judge Pini, who was sitting with two magistrates on Thursday, said despite Mr Abdel-Khalek’s professional background they were not prepared to take a risk and grant the appeal.

“The concern here is the availability of a firearm in a house where someone may lose their temper,” Judge Pini added.

Mr Abdel-Khalek will also have to pay costs of £7,000.