Man jailed after using five members of the public as ‘target practice’ for an air rifle

Lincoln Crown Court.
Lincoln Crown Court.
  • Ruslanas Solovjovas, 39, shot at five people with an air rifle
  • Police found the air rifle and pellets as well as a cushion propped up against a window in the upstairs flat
  • When arrested Solovjovas told police he was Jesus Christ
  • Lincoln Crown Court was told Solovovas had bought the weapon only a few days earlier when his girlfriend left him after becoming fed up with his drinking

A Boston man who shot five members of the public with an air rifle after binging on vodka was today (Friday) jailed for 14 months.

Ruslanas Solovjovas, 39, was arrested after armed police swooped on the Frieston Road area of Boston.

You chose to exercise target practice on five innocent members of the public who were going about their lawful business.

Judge Michael Heath

Lincoln Crown Court heard a number of people had reported being shot at during the incident on 13 November last year.

Phil Howes, prosecuting, said there were reports of unusual ‘noises whizzing past people’s ears’.

Among the victims was a man who noticed blood on his back and a dent in his car.

Mr Howes told the court a 28-year-old woman, who had pulled over to buy biscuits for her two children, also felt a pain in her right leg.

The mother went home but later noticed a hole and blood on her right leg. She attended hospital after feeling dizzy and was given painkillers.

Another 44-year-old woman complained of bad dreams in which she was always running away after being shot at in the street.

When police arrested Solovjovas they found an air rifle and pellets. A cushion had also been propped up against a window in the upstairs flat of the former Wellington pub building.

Solovjovas was clearly intoxicated and told police he was ‘Jesus Christ’. He also warned officers that he had gun but later admitted to being a ‘stupid man’ when he sobered up.

Stuart Lody, mitigating, said Solovjovas had bought the weapon a few days earlier when his girlfriend left him after becoming fed up with his drinking.

Mr Lody added: “He should have thrown the air rifle away as his girlfriend told him but instead he used it to shoot at perfectly innocent people.”

The court heard Solovjovas had moved to the UK from Lithuania and had no previous convictions.

Solovjovas, of Wellington Cottages, Vauxhall Road, Boston, admitted three charges of common assault and two charges of assault causing actual bodily harm on 13 November, 2016.

Passing sentence Judge Michael Heath told him that he was “drunk” and had behaved “stupidly.”

The judge said: “You chose to exercise target practice on five innocent members of the public who were going about their lawful business.

“You caused some physical and psychological harm. Fortunately the physical injuries were not serious.

“But you could have caused the loss of eyes and heaven knows what would have happened if you had hit somebody in the temple.”