A SOUTHAMPTON man stormed into a pizza restaurant armed with a handgun.

Samuel Boylan walked into Pizza House on St Mary’s Street with a gun in his waistband which was “loaded and ready to fire”, a court heard.

Moments before, his victim had been outside “chatting with friends” when the 32-year-old pulled up in a White Mini Cooper and got out the passenger side.

His victim ran back inside, leapt over the counter and fled through the back of the restaurant.

Boylan tried to pursue him but was stopped by staff.

Samuel Boylan

Samuel Boylan

Prosecution barrister, Roderick Blain told how Boylan then pulled the gun from his waistband and raised it at the owner of the fast-food eatery.

Mr Blain said: “He thought he was going to be shot so he backed off. The defendant then puts the gun back into his waistband and leaves the shop.

“Outside he gets back into the car which heads off in the direction of Northam.”

But, the car drove back past Pizza House.

Mr Blain told the court how CCTV footage showed an arm emerge from the vehicle and the gun was “discharged straight up into the air” twice.

However, the prosecution was unable to determine who fired the gun which was never recovered.

Armed police were called after a man pulled out a gun in Pizza House takeaway, Southampton

Police were called to the incident at Pizza House takeaway, Southampton

Appearing before Southampton Crown Court on Thursday, Boylan, of Honeysuckle Road was charged with possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence and two counts of breaching a restraining order.

He previously pleaded guilty to the breaches and the incident on November 21 last year which sparked a manhunt involving a police helicopter.

The court heard how on November 12, Boylan had sent his ex-partner a photo of a gun with the message “My new toy for my boy. Fully locked and loaded”.

Mr Blain said that Boylan has a “fairly lengthy” history of offending with 28 convictions to 66 offences across a “broad spectrum”.

These include for violence, public order, dishonesty and burglary.

Armed police were called after a man pulled out a gun in Pizza House takeaway, Southampton

Armed police were called after a man pulled out a gun in Pizza House takeaway, Southampton

The Daily Echo previously reported how he was jailed for three years in 2017 for being part of a masked gang that smashed its way into Allum and Sidaway Jewellers, in Ringwood with sledgehammers.

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They made off with a haul worth £111,000 including a large amount of Pandora jewellery.

Prior to that, Boylan sparked a manhunt when he breached a suspended sentence he had been given for supplying class B drugs.

Defending, Peter Asteris told how Boylan had been diagnosed with ADHD and autism.

Pizza House takeaway on St Marys Street

Pizza House takeaway on St Mary's Street

Furthermore, a medical report said he showed schizophrenic tendencies.

Mr Asteris added that Boylan has a history that was unenviable but argued he was trying to change his life around and was very sorry for what happened.

During sentencing, Judge Gary Burrell QC accepted that Boylan has mental health problems and that he had been subjected to significant trauma in the past.

He jailed him for a total of six years and made him the subject of a five-year restraining order not to contact his female victim.