A 35-YEAR-OLD man who brandished an air gun before burning his clothes in the street will be released from prison after less than two months behind bars.

Levi Todd, of Newby Road, Breightmet, was arrested after firearms officers were called to Stephens Street at around 9.30pm on Friday, June 19, following reports that a man was in possession of a gun.

At Bolton Crown Court, Michael Blakely, prosecuting, said Todd, who appeared via videolink from HMP Liverpool, was spotted by residents, including a woman with her children, carrying a black bag from which he pulled a gun before hiding in some bushes and setting his clothes alight.

Armed officers arrived and Mr Blakely said one drew his weapon from its holster after Todd began moving towards him and ignored instructions to stop and put his hands up.

They were joined by a police helicopter in the operation.

A Taser was deployed and Todd was arrested and charged with possessing an imitation firearm with the intent to cause fear.

A 22-year-old man was also taken into custody on suspicion of obstructing police, but no further action was taken.

Todd told officers in interview that he had taken the gun from his house out of fear for his safety following an argument with his brother.

Rachel White, defending, said Todd acquired the gun following a burglary and was “not in a good place on the day of the incident”.

She said he was “not really capable of living independently” and described Todd as “childlike”.

Ms White said he had been in custody since June 19 and the experience had been “difficult”.

She confirmed he had threatened to kill himself following his arrest.

“He (Todd) does not cope well with complicated situations,” she added.

Addressing Todd, who pleaded guilty to possessing an imitation firearm with the intent to cause fear, Judge Timothy Stead said his behaviour had been “disturbing”.

“The fear levels would be high,” he said. “Members of the public would not know you are a man of limited capacity.

“But the chance has come to see if you can get on with a community order.”

Todd rubbed his hands together, grinned and clenched his fist in celebration as Judge Stead said: “I’m going to give you a chance, but don’t get hold of an air pistol or run around in the streets.”

He handed Todd a two-year community order with a 30-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

“If you co-operate all will be well,” added Judge Stead. “I wish you luck so make the most of it.”