A man who sparked an armed siege at a tower block in a row over a £40 computer game has avoided an immediate prison sentence.
Raymond Thomas was given a 28-day term, suspended for a year, by Solihull magistrates.
The 43-year-old, of Allesley Park, Coventry, pleaded guilty to wasting police time last month after he lied about his ex-partner being held at gunpoint.
Sandra Jordan’s Chelmsley Wood tower block was evacuated when officers were told her son Simon was pointing a gun at her head.
Thomas sparked the hoax because he thought Simon had sold his computer game at Cash Converters.
Ms Jordan, aged 62, knew nothing of the alert for almost three hours as she happily watched Emmerdale in her flat. She had the shock of her life when she finally opened her front door to see armed police outside.
The grandmother of 12 discovered her home inside Westham House, off Forth Drive, was surrounded by police only when she spoke to a hostage negotiator at around 9am on April 7.
Simon, who was wrongly alleged to have been holding her, his three young sons and his niece at gunpoint, was ordered to leave the flat and was arrested.
Ms Jordan said: “It really hurts that Ray did this. Somebody could have been killed.
“The children were screaming when they saw their dad in handcuffs and we were had to wait for an hour as they searched the flat.
“My daughter called and a police negotiator came on the line and asked me if the shotgun was still pointed at my head. I had no idea what he was talking about.”
Thomas, who has no previous convictions, was also ordered to take part in unspecified probation service activities and was ordered to pay £85 costs.