Actor John McEnery denies fresh fake firearm allegations

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Bafta-nominated actor John McEnery has appeared in court to deny more allegations of pulling out a fake gun in public.

The 74-year-old, who appeared in movies such as Girl With A Pearl Earring and television shows including Silent Witness and The Bill, was due to stand trial on Monday after pleading not guilty to pulling out a black water pistol at the Leading Light pub in Faversham, Kent, on August 8 last year.

But the case was adjourned when fresh accusations came to light that he was being prosecuted for a similar offence just weeks before in a champagne bar in the town.

Alexia Zimbler, prosecuting, told Maidstone Crown Court McEnery is now facing a second charge of possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence after an alleged incident at binElla on Standard Quay between July 1 and August 8.

She said the allegations emerged during the course of the police investigation and told the court McEnery is accused of having the water pistol in his possession which was shown to witnesses when he and another man arrived at the bar late at night and were refused service.

There was a short adjournment to allow McEnery, who was nominated for a Bafta for his portrayal of Mercutio in Franco Zeffirelli's 1968 film adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, time to talk with his defence barrister.

When he re-entered the dock, the accused spoke loudly and clearly to deny the second charge.

He will now stand trial for both charges next month.

The other man allegedly present at the time of the incident has not been charged, Ms Zimbler told the court.

Criticising administrative delays in the case, Judge Martin Joy told the court: "We cannot have delays, because the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing.

"We have got to get on with this case. It has been kicking around for so long."

McEnery, who previously told the court he had no fixed address but is now listed as living in Cecil Road, Rochester, was released on conditional bail until the case resumes on February 19.