A road rage driver who used a pepper spray on another motorist was jailed for five years after a sawn-off shotgun was found in his house.
Ian Ferrier lost his temper with a pizza delivery worker on a scooter, Teesside Crown Court heard.
When car driver Phillip Anderson challenged Ferrier about his driving, Ferrier told him: “I can do what I like,” before pepper spraying Mr Anderson in the face.
Prosecutor Jenny Haigh said the incident began when Ferrier was driving behind the scooter rider in Catcote Road in Hartlepool.
“The rider became aware of Ferrier’s Citroen Saxo being driven impatiently behind him,” added Ms Haigh.
“The Saxo passed, then slowed to a crawl in front of the scooter, leading the rider to believe it was going to pull into Hartlepool Rugby Club.
“It didn’t, and after the scooter passed, the Saxo was driven aggressively at the scooter causing the rider to swerve into the opposite carriageway to avoid it.”
The court heard Ferrier followed the scooter back to Pizza Hut, as did Mr Anderson who told Ferrier he could have killed the scooter rider.
“Ferrier approached Mr Anderson as he was sitting in his car,” said Ms Haigh. “He sprayed him in the face with what was later confirmed as pepper spray.
“Police were informed and went to interview Ferrier at his home.
“He would not answer the door, when they gained entry they found him hiding in a toilet.
“A search of his house found the pepper spray, but also a single shortened barrel pump action shotgun in a guitar case behind a sofa, and several cannabis plants.
“When interviewed, Ferrier claimed he had sprayed Mr Anderson with Baby Bio plant food.”
Ferrier, 57, admitted possession of a prohibited firearm, possession of a device designed to discharge a noxious substance, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, dangerous driving, and producing a class B drug, all on October 10, last year.
The court heard the shotgun offence carries a minimum jail term of five years.
Stephen Constantine, defending, said: “Mr Ferrier has previous convictions, but not for a very long time.
“He is the primary carer for his mother who will be adversely impacted by the inevitable prison sentence.”
Jailing Ferrier for five years, Judge Howard Crowson told him: “Each of these offences merits prison, but the shotgun offence is the most serious. The police have forensically checked the shotgun and found it has not been used in the course of crime.
“If it had been, the sentence would have been much longer.”
Ferrier, of Newholme Estate, Wingate, was banned from driving for four-and-half years.