|Jailed: Nathan Gardier fell asleep in traffic with a loaded gun on his lap. Metropolitan Police/PA Wire|
A dad-of-two who fell asleep in London traffic with a loaded gun on his lap after getting drunk has been jailed. Nathan Gardier, from Walthamstow, was more than one and a half times over the legal alcohol limit when he nodded off in the driving seat at a set of traffic lights with a 9mm pistol in his lap.
The 24-year-old apologised to police and said it was “probably fate” and “something God has put in my path for a reason”, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.
The offence happened at Willow Walk in east London at around 10am on August 4. Gardier, of Falmer Road in Walthamstow, claimed to have found the gun in a field but Recorder Sally Hales rejected that explanation as “utterly implausible”.
He pleaded guilty to having a firearm and ammunition in a public place as well as being in charge of a motor vehicle while above the legal alcohol limit.
He was jailed for five and a half years. Ms Hales said she must impose a strong term as a deterrent "because of the dangers such weapons can do particularly in the hands of the wrong people and that includes you Mr Gardier". She added: "In your case the harm that you presented was worse because the firearm was loaded, ready to be fired, with a bullet in the chamber."
Gardier was also disqualified from driving for a year. He waved to tearful relatives as he left the dock.
- Evening Standard