A tenant pointed an imitation handgun at a housing officer while suffering a "drug induced psychosis". He had earlier been discovered with around £900 worth of cannabis and text messages revealed he had been dealing the drug.

Keano Palmer, 27, pointed the air weapon at his victim, a housing officer for the YMCA, outside his flat in Cardiff on May 20, 2022. She was left fearing for her life and felt unable to continue with her job as a result of the incident.

A sentencing hearing at Newport Crown Court on Friday heard the officer attended the defendant's flat in Chester Place, Grangetown, with a locksmith, with the intention of having the locks changed. Issues had been raised by other tenants who said Palmer had initially changed the locks to prevent them from accessing their flats.

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After the locksmith began his work, Palmer appeared at a downstairs bedroom window, banged the window with force and told them to leave. After the locksmith managed to open the door, the defendant claimed he was the "landlord" and accused them of trespassing .For the latest court reports, sign up to our crime newsletter here

Prosecutor Christopher Evans said Palmer later emerged wearing what appeared to be a stab vest. The officer asked the defendant if he was okay, to which he responded "No I'm f****** not". He began walking towards her, and she decided to return to her car and call the police and her manager. She saw another resident of the flats and warned him to get away from the scene.

At that point, Palmer appeared through a bedroom window and brandished what appeared to be a small black handgun, which he pointed at the officer and the resident. They both took cover by her vehicle and drove off, as the defendant came into the street and stared at them while holding the gun. The officer said she felt "genuine fear" and "felt she would be killed" if she had not called the police.

Firearm police officers attended the flats and Palmer came out with his hands up. He was handcuffed, arrested and cautioned. The firearm was seized and was found to be a semi automatic gas powered airsoft pistol, of 6mm calibre, designed to fire plastic ball bearings. It is considered an imitation firearm.

In a victim personal statement, the housing officer said the incident continued to affect her on a daily basis and as a result she has moved into a different role which allows her to work from home, and avoid the area of Cardiff where the offence took place.

Mr Evans also told the court about a raid at Palmer's flat in Cardiff in January 2022 and a bag containing 174.8g of cannabis was discovered, as well as £988 in cash, two mobile phones and a set of digital scales. The total value of the cannabis was between £560 and £900, and had been prepared into smaller weights for supply. Messages on the defendant's phone were also found to be linked to drug dealing.

Palmer, now of Beechley Drive, pleaded guilty to possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear or violence. He also pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply class B drugs.

In mitigation, Alex Greenwood said his client had moved to a different area of Cardiff and has managed to deal with his issues with mental health and excessive use of cannabis. The barrister argued a suspended sentence could justly be passed in the defendant's case.

Sentencing, Recorder Mark Powell KC said: "(The victim) has a right to do her job without being threatened. Whether you were suffering from drug induced psychosis or not, she has the right not to be threatened with an imitation firearm."

Palmer was sentenced to 21 months imprisonment suspended for 12 months. He was also ordered to carry out a 10 day rehabilitation activity requirement.

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