A TERRIFIED vicar feared for her life when a drunken thug fired a crossbow at her from a church roof.

David Wood, 20, raised the crossbow and aimed at Rev Sue Hobley, vicar of All Saints’ Church in Wath-upon-Dearne, Sheffield Crown Court was told.

Wood sobbed as he was handed an eight-month jail term.

Peter Hampton, prosecuting, said Mrs Hobley and her husband Michael Byrne heard the church roof alarm sounding in the early hours of April 7.

"Sue looked up to the roof of the church and on the porch was Wood looking directly at her," said Mr Hampton.

"Mrs Hobley shouted at him to come down and he picked up what later transpired to be a crossbow.

"She was terrified and thought she was going to be shot. The couple took cover, Mrs Hobley behind a gravestone. Wood continued to aim at her.

"Then they both heard a bang - the crossbow had been fired."

The pair fled to the church hall, locked themselves in and called police. Wood was talked down from the roof at gunpoint by armed police.

Wood, of Campsall Field Road, Wath-upon-Dearne, admitted affray.

Michael Slater, mitigating, said he was a ‘vulnerable and thoughtful young man’ of good character and his behaviour was a ‘cry for help’.

He said Wood was caring for his dying grandmother and couldn’t cope.