A 'stupid' driver brandished a gun at a fellow motorist in a ‘terrifying’ road rage incident that could have had ‘potentially catastrophic consequences.’

David Niedzwiecki, of Argyle Close, Ealing, was today jailed for possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear or violence after a confrontation with a driver on the M40 on July 13, 2020.

The 29-year-old was heading eastbound when the lanes merged from three to two and the defendant’s car almost clashed with that of a Mr Garry Tooey.

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Niedzwiecki pulled up next to the driver whilst they were both moving and pulled out a black revolver gun and pointed it at the car’s rear wheel.

Prosecutor Charles Ward-Jackson said: “That caused the driver some alarm as he thought he was about to shoot his tyres.”

Mr Tooey called the police to report Niedzwiecki at about 3.30pm. Remarkably, two hours later, Mr Tooey spotted Niedzwiecki’s BMW again on Hosier Street in Reading.

Police were again called and armed officers arrested Niedzwiecki on West Street. He handed over the gun, which turned out to be a BB gun in the shape of a black revolver that was incapable of firing pellets.

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However, Mr Ward-Jackson said: “It is not the sort of item that should be carried around in a car and it is not legal to own it.

“To have a gun pointed at you on a busy motorway, travelling at speed, must be extremely alarming.”


a file photo of a black revolver similar to how the defendants gun would have looked

a file photo of a black revolver similar to how the defendant's gun would have looked


John Benson QC, defending, said it was a “mystery” as to why Niedzwiecki, a man of “previous exemplary character” behaved in this way.

Referring to the incident on the motorway, Mr Benson said Niedzwiecki was forced to ‘brake hard’ by Mr Tooey’s car.

The barrister said: “This was a road rage incident caused by another motorist that led to the defendant doing something stupid to a degree that he has never previously behaved in his life.

“This was a few moments of madness and stupidity.”

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His Honour Judge Burgess, passing sentence, said the experience must have been “terrifying” for Mr Tooey.

The judge said the gun, which is legally classed as a firearm, looked “fearsome.”

He added: “People can and do act in uncharacteristic ways when their tempers are raised sitting behind the wheel of a motor car. This was a road rage incident.

“There was a substantial risk that a person overcome by terror would have lost control of their car with potentially catastrophic consequences for them and other road users.

“This is a sad case and an unfortunate case. But I would be failing my public duty if I were to do anything other than send you to custody today.”

Niedzwiecki was sentenced to 12 months in prison at Reading Crown Court on Friday, June 10.