‘Crazed man’ attacked family with paintball gun and kicked dog for no reason

A mum has pleaded for a thug who battered her dog and fired a paintball gun at her and a bunch of children to be jailed – otherwise he will end up “killing someone”.

Paul Ritchie kicked Emma Davis’s dog in the air for no reason as she and four children walked past his home.

He then shot at them with a paintball gun, terrifying the group and prompting armed police to rush to the scene, reports the Daily Record.

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The incident happened outside Ritchie’s home in Dolphinton, Lanarkshire, Scotland, in October 2020.

Ritchie appeared at Airdrie Sheriff Court this week, having previously admitted culpably and recklessly discharging a paintball gun in the direction of Emma, a boy aged eight and three 15-year-old lads.

He also admitted causing Emma’s Staffordshire terrier Maya unnecessary suffering and assaulting two police officers – headbutting and spitting at one and kicking another.

Maya was traumatised by the attack and the 14-year-old later had to be put down.

Sheriff Joseph Hughes deferred sentencing while he waited for an assessment of Ritchie’s mental state.

Ritchie, 36, had previously been locked up for 12 months for sending “vile” emails and making threats of violence towards politicians, including former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford.

Emma, 40, said: “This man needs to be jailed again but he must also get medical help.

“People like him end up slipping through the net and killing someone. There has been an escalation in his behaviour.”

Emma and her family have been forced to move from the area since the incident.

“It was horrific. I genuinely thought the children were going to die,” she said.

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“It didn’t make any sense – it was crazy behaviour.”

Shown a photograph of the paintball gun in court, Sheriff Hughes said: “I can see why people thought it was a gun. It really is quite a scary item.”

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