YouTube rapper '˜Tommy Armani' jailed for brandishing '˜gun' on the streets of Blackpool
A rapper with musical notes tattooed onto his face has been jailed for brandishing a realistic-looking BB gun on the streets of North Shore.
Luke Richards’ actions sparked panic in Cromwell Road in September – and even caused nearby Westminster Primary Academy to go into lock-down as armed police were called out.
The 26-year-old, who lives in Cromwell Road and also goes by the name Tommy Armani, was caged for 27 months at Preston Crown Court today.
Under a separate alias of Tommy Kray, Richards has a number of music videos on YouTube, with titles such as Don’t Care Anymore and Keep It Real.
In one, called Blackpool’s Problem, he is filmed sitting on top of a police van and rapping in Birley Street in the town centre.
Richards pleaded guilty to possessing an imitation firearm, with intent to cause another man to fear unlawful violence would be used, after somebody went into his home with it, leading to a “struggle”, the court was told.
He believed a shopkeeper in the road had sent the man, and went to confront him.
CCTV footage showed him using the Crosman gas-powered BB gun to hit a parked car before approaching Premier Direct J&R Convenience Store and looking through a window – just as a woman pushing a baby in a pram walked out the door.
Armed officers and police dogs were called while teachers at Westminster locked the doors as 350 pupils, unaware of events outside, continued their work in class.
The gun was found inside Richards’ home, broken down into three pieces.