Man jailed for stealing replica pistol from Lincoln museum

A man who stole a replica hand gun from the Lincolnshire Life Museum in Lincoln has been jailed for four years.

Lee Rousseau, 48, took the replica Luger pistol from a soldier mannequin in the World War One trenches display at the attraction off Burton Road.

Lincoln Crown Court heard Rousseau ripped the arm from the mannequin and disappeared into the toilets where he removed the hand gun and walked off.

Rousseau had previously warned that he would take a gun from the museum, the court was told.

The Museum of Lincolnshire Life on Burton Road. Photo: The Lincolnite

Gurdial Singh, prosecuting, said after taking the gun Rousseau went to the home of his former partner Cheryl Smith.

Mr Singh said: “When he arrived at her house he was told to go away.

“He said that she must be seeing somebody else and she said she was.

“That caused him to start kicking the front door and threatening to kill her.

“He appeared to make off and thrust a gun through the letter box.

“She was in the kitchen with her child. She saw the tip of the barrel.”

Rousseau then told her “Let me f**king in. I’ll kill you.”

He went on to accuse her of being a “grass” after realising she was on the phone to police to report him.

Mr Singh said: “She was shaking and her heart was beating fast. She believed he would kill her.

“She described how he was obsessed with firearms.”

Rousseau was subsequently arrested at his mother’s home.

Mr Singh added: “A gun was recovered. He was interviewed and gave a bizarre account of going to the museum, seeing the mannequin.

“He claimed he shook the mannequin’s hand and the arm fell off.”

Staff at the museum in Burton Road, Lincoln, discovered the hand gun was missing from the display.

They checked CCTV footage and Rousseau was seen to pull the arm off the mannequin and head for the toilets.

The court was told Rousseau had 26 previous convictions for a total of 49 offences.

Rousseau, 48, of Turner Avenue, Lincoln, admitted charges of theft, criminal damage and possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence as a result of the incident on March 14 this year.

He also admitted three charges of possession of a knife after being stopped by police 10 days earlier. He was jailed for four years.

Judge John Pini QC, passing sentence, told him “You went to the museum and you stole a replica World War One handgun by ripping the arm completely off the mannequin.

“You had earlier said you intended to steal the gun from the museum.”

Michael Cranmer-Brown, in mitigation, said that at the time Rousseau was sleeping rough and sofa surfing.

“It was a gun that had been taken from the museum,” Mr Cranmer-Brown told the court.

“He had a great deal of affection for that museum and had been there many times before.

“He is ashamed of what he has done. He was going through a bad period in his life.”