Cefn Hengoed man jailed after putting gun to ex-wife’s head
4:37pm Friday 15th February 2013 in News
AFTER a bitter break-up, a Cefn Hengoed man put an imitation gun to his ex-wife’s head, calling “I’m going to kill you, I’m going to pull the trigger and blow your brains out”, a court heard.
Thomas Gaut, 30, of Lansbury Avenue, went to Hengoed Primary School with the red BB gun and Cardiff Crown Court heard how another parent feared Gaut would kill his ex-partner and then turn the gun on her in front of children.
Prosecutor Jason Howells said Gaut’s ten-year relationship with Claire Strode ended acrimoniously last February.
Things came to a head on November 6 when staff at the school called Ms Strode to say Gaut was there. The former couple began arguing outside.
Trying to calm the situation, another mother, Jane Davies, offered Ms Strode a lift home. But, as she was putting children in the back of the car, Gaut threatened her.
Mr Howells said: “He put his cheek against hers and said ‘you’re worthless, no-one loves you, you’re nothing’.
“He then placed a red gun to her forehead and said ‘I’m going to kill you, I’m going to pull the trigger and blow your brains out’.”
The prosecutor described her being “petrified, feeling physically sick” while, in a statement, Ms Davies said she heard “a whimper”, adding: “He placed the gun hard against her forehead.
“I thought he was going to pull the trigger on her, then me.”
Ms Davies said she reminded Gaut children were there and he backed off, saying “I’ll get you” to Ms Strode.
Mr Howells described Ms Strode as being “hysterical”, thanking her friend for her intervention and saying “I’d be dead otherwise”.
Defence barrister Matthew Roberts described Gaut as “deteriorating rapidly” after his relationship broke down, saying: “It was a desperate and serious act.”
Judge Neil Bidder agreed that he had intended to “frighten” his expartner with the imitation gun, saying: “It was entirely related to the breakdown of your marriage which affected you very badly.”
As well as placing a five-year restraining order on Gaut, stopping him approaching his ex-wife, he was sentenced to two years in prison after he admitted possessing an imitation firearm with threats.