A 36-YEAR-old Dudley man who aimed an imitation gun at a neighbour in a dispute he felt had long been settled has been locked up for 14 months.

A second Dudley man involved in the incident during a barbecue as the men chatted over a garden fence before things turned nasty, has been jailed for a year.

"This was a concerted, calculated effort to terrify this man and it worked," Judge Barry Berlin told Stephen Mallen and Daniel Johnson at Wolverhampton Crown Court.

Mallen of Heathcliff Road, Dudley had denied possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence but he was convicted by a jury at the end of his trial.

Johnson, also 36 of Hallchurch Road, Dudley admitted the offence on the day of trial and he received the lesser sentence because of his guilty plea.

Mr Oliver Woolhouse, prosecuting, said Mallen had fallen out with his neighbour Aaron Freeman after a row over mess he claimed had been left by his dog on his doorstep.

But two years after the dispute, which Mr Freeman thought had been settled when he apologised, Mallen brought up the matter again at a barbecue hosted by his next door neighbour.

Mr Freeman tried apologising again but a short time later after Mallen had left to sit on his doorstep to be joined by Johnson he became frightened when he saw the barrel of a gun visible under a towel on his lap.

He then panicked and got up to leave when he saw Mallen standing on a wall aiming what appeared to be a gun in his direction.

The police were called, added Mr Woolhouse and officers found a black plastic air pistol, airgun pellets and a replica of a self loading pistol.

Mr Justin Roberts, defending Mallen, said drink had been consumed at the barbecue and that lead to him committing what he described as an "act of crass stupidity."

The court was told 32-year-old Mr Freeman had moved out of the area with his family after the offence which had caused him considerable anxiety.