A MAN has been jailed after attempting to spark a shoot out with Essex police in a bid to get himself killed.

Stephen Debley, 48, of Knights Way, Dunmow made a 101 call to police on September 1 last year when he said he was going to harm himself and was going to shoot at police officers.

Debley took shots at a parked car using two air guns on the junction of North Street and Knights Way and repeatedly refused warnings from officers to put his gun down.

Prosecutor Mark Roochove said: “He was saying he would shoot any copper.”

He was shot in the leg by an officers, hit with a baton and tasered in a bid to subdue him.

Debley admitted two charges of possessing an imitation firearm and another of affray.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard on Friday that Debley had taken a cocktail of alchohol, anti-depressants and diazepam on the morning and had attempted to take his own life on two other occasions.

Mitigating, Gary Ryan said: “During the 101 call he said ‘today is the day I go to bed.’

“There had been a long history of depression and alcohol abuse.”

He is the first man in 31 years to be shot by Essex Police and is still undergoing treatment for the leg injury he suffered.

Judge Patricia Lynch QC sentenced Debley to six years in jail for the firearm offences and two years for affray. The sentences will run concurrently.

She said: “I’m of the opinion it is a very sad case because you stand here before me as a man of relatively hitherto good character but these are some of the most serious offences which can come before the courts.

“It is serious because the people in Dunmow were almost certainly scared to death to see a man walking through the streets with two weapons – they weren’t to know they were imitation.

“In exactly the same way as people who throw themselves under trains and buses do not think of the drivers you did not think of the police officers.

“This is not the United States of America and the police in this country do not shoot to kill.”