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Professor used imitation gun to frighten family during row

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: July 06, 2013

petulant Swansea University professor Brian Fawzi entering Swansea Crown Court.

A UNIVERSITY professor acted like a "petulant teenager" when he used an imitation gun to scare his family during a family argument.

Judge Paul Thomas said it was Dr Brian Fawzi's ill health that meant he would suspend the sentence of imprisonment.

Iraqi-born Fawzi, 59, of Nant Cilas, Tircoed Forest Village, Swansea, had been on trial at Swansea Crown Court. He was acquitted of three counts of assault, but was convicted of possessing the imitation firearm.

Stephen Rees, for Fawzi, said his client had been confronted by his family in what turned out to be a heated and violent argument, during which Fawzi received injuries.

He accepted his client could have avoided the altercation.

"What he should have done was to remain indoors, with the doors locked and he should have called police. The jury thought he took the law into his own hands by opening the door and carrying his stepson with the gun," said Mr Rees.

"When he committed this offence, he was under considerable stress, his marriage was at breaking point," he added.

He said no injuries were caused to his family members but accepted it would have been frightening for them.

"The offence is plainly out of character and was borne out of an unusual set of circumstances," added Mr Rees.

Judge Paul Thomas said: "I believe, having heard the evidence, one of the reasons for that is your attitude towards women.

"The jury acquitted you of the battery and assault allegations believing, as I do, that there was an element of fault on both sides. You acted in a histrionic manner," he said.

"For a man of your age and education, you behaved like a petulant teenager and got a gun. You brandished that gun and even though it was not loaded, it was a very frightening experience as was your very foolish decision to pretend to discharge it," added the judge.

He imposed a 12 months sentence but the judge said his ill health meant he could suspend that for two years.

Fawzi was also told to pay £2,000 towards prosecution costs.

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