Vincent Barnes
Vincent Barnes

A man pulled a gun on a London shopkeeper in a row over £2.40.

Vincent Barnes, 38, produced the weapon after the off-licence owner called time on his slate at his business in Wood Green, north London.

Barnes owed the shop £2.40 for items he had been allowed to purchase "on tick".

But when the shopkeeper asked for his money back, a row broke out in the shop. Barnes, who is unemployed, left the premises and returned five minutes later wielding a gun.

The shopkeeper forced him into the street and wrestled the firearm from him before Barnes fled, a court heard.

Barnes was tracked down by CCTV footage and DNA on the weapon, an air pistol.

At Wood Green Crown Court, he pleaded guilty to possessing an airgun with intent to cause fear of violence. He was jailed for two years.

DC Brittany Clarke of Haringey CID hailed the bravery of the shopkeeper.

She said: "I would like to thank the members of the public who called police to report the incident. This enabled officers to attend, identify Barnes from CCTV at the shop, visit his home address and arrest him not much more than an hour after the incident.

"I must also mention the shopkeeper's bravery, as he had no way of knowing that the gun was not loaded and was an air gun.

"As far as he knew, Barnes had a gun and he was in danger, yet he managed to disarm him and return to serving customers."