A GARAGE worker who fired a loaded air gun at a rival garage’s boss after a bitter feud erupted into violence has been convicted by a jury.

Robert Bielecki, of Mold Crescent, Banbury, had denied his part in the mass brawl that ensued and of the single count of possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear or violence.

As his trial at Oxford Crown Court came to an end yesterday, the 25-year old Polish national looked around in disbelief as the jury of 11 women and one man found him guilty by a majority after five hours and 57 minutes of deliberations.

During the trial the court had heard that two vehicle businesses, located just metres apart in Lower Cherwell Street, Banbury, had become locked in a long-running dispute.

Shortly after 7pm on August 24, 2016, the row between A & B Car Service and Pete’s Garage reached a new height when company boss at A & B Clirim Dehari was driving along Canal Street and was set upon by a number of men.

CCTV footage shown to the jury appeared to show Mr Dehari assaulted by two men while others rushed to the scene wielding poles, cricket and baseball bats.

Among these was Bielecki, armed with a gas-powered air pistol loaded with lead pellets.

As the brawl spilled out on to the street dozens of cars were seen driving past, seemingly oblivious to the unfolding carnage. After some minutes Mr Dehari got back in his car and attempted to speed off, ramming into another car, which Bielecki was sat inside.

Bielecki, an employee at the rival firm Pete’s Garage, was then spotted exiting the black Audi before aiming the pistol at Mr Dehari’s black Mercedes.

He then firee two shots at the windscreen before Mr Dehari sped off, almost crashing into the group of men assembled nearby, while Bielecki fled the scene.

Julian Lynch, prosecuting, said: “This is an escalated dispute about something very minor and all parties acted, to put it bluntly, bad. But that doesn’t excuse the behaviour of Mr Bielecki.”

Taking to the witness box during the three-day trial, Mr Dehari said: “He had a gun with him, it was a black handgun. It looked like a real gun. He pointed the gun towards my car and he shot the windscreen two or three times.

“I was too scared and wanted to get out. I was scared by so many people and I was on my own.”

Bielecki had argued that he acted in ‘reasonable self defence’ after Mr Dehari appeared to ‘ram’ the vehicle he was in.

Following his conviction, prosecutors revealed that the feud between the two rival garages had later escalated with groups of men surrounding and threatening Bielecki at his place of work, leading to the police being called.

In another incident a man, who the court heard was identified as Mr Dehari, threatened another man collecting Bielecki’s son from school.

While no charges arose the man was threatened with a knuckle duster as part of the ongoing feud, the court heard.

Following the last incident the feud appeared to die down, the court heard, and there were no reports of any flare-ups.

Bielecki will be sentenced at the same court on February 22 after a pre-sentence report is prepared.