A MOTOR dealer got his shotgun and threatened to shoot himself when the pressures of the coronavirus pandemic got too much for him, York Crown Court heard.

Barrie Laws, 53, of York, wanted to visit his mother who lives in a care home on May 10, said Mehran Nassiri, prosecuting.

But he couldn’t because visits were cancelled due to the pandemic.

He was also going out to work though his wife had begged him not to and the couple were living in separate parts of their home.

Defence solicitor Kevin Blount said Laws was worried about his business and was struggling to keep it afloat, and he had underlying depression.

“The only person at risk of harm was himself,” said the solicitor.

“It is tragic. The depressive illness and the pressures he was under led to him acting in a manner which is clearly out of character.”

Mr Nassiri said after he realised he couldn’t see his mother on May 10, Laws spent the afternoon and early evening drinking wine, before going into the kitchen and throwing items about.

“I might as well get the gun out of the garage and shoot myself,” he said.

His wife tried to reason with him but when he got the gun, she went into the garden and rang the police.

Laws took the 12 bore shotgun into the living room, where his son managed to disarm him.

“Call the police, I’m going to kick off again,” the father said.

Laws, of Askham Lane, Acomb, pleaded guilty to having a firearm with intent to make another fear violence would be used.

His wife wrote a letter to the judge which the Recorder of York, Judge Sean Morris, said was very moving.

“It is quite clear at the time of this event, you were suffering from, in effect, a breakdown of sorts,” he told Laws.

He passed a 16-month prison sentence suspended for two years on condition Laws did 30 days’ rehabilitation activities.

Mr Blount said Laws was licensed to have a shotgun.

But he would now lose his licence and would not be allowed to have another one, the court was told.