A man who pointed an imitation firearm at two police officers has been jailed for four years.

Michael Murphy Martin, 27, of Hollickwood Avenue in Friern Barnet, was sentenced today at Wood Green Crown Court for possession of an imitation firearm in a public place with intent to cause fear of violence.

He had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing.

The incident took place after two police officers were told by a member of the public that two men had been assaulting a woman outside a Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Bowes Road at around 6pm on Sunday, December 22.

One officer went to the scene, where she saw Michael Martin, his wife and a male friend.

The officer asked if everything was OK, when she saw Martin raise his right hand, in which he was carrying a handgun.

Believing the gun was real, she pulled Martin’s wife away to safety and called for immediate assistance.

The second officer arrived on the scene and began speaking to both men, who had been drinking. When she saw the gun and asked if they were OK, Martin became aggressive and pointed it directly at the officer’s face while shouting.

The pair called for assistance and was joined by other officers in the area.

Martin was subsequently arrested and taken to Colindale Police station.

Detective Constable Jon Nagle of Trident North Reactive said: “This was a terrifying ordeal for two young PCs who should be safe to go about their role protecting the public without fear of being attacked by the people they serve.

"I am pleased that Martin has been put behind bars so that he will not be able to cause alarm and distress to the public for a significant period of time."