A 21-year-old Baker Lake, Nunavut, man has been sentenced to 18 months in jail for pointing a firearm at a police officer.

In a written decision issued Wednesday, Justice Robert Kilpatrick states that the incident could have turned for the worse if not for a police officer who kept his cool.

On March 17, Joseph Attutuvaa broke into the cargo area of the Baker Lake airport and stole six bottles of liquor.

He was drunk when arrested, and three bottles were recovered. Attutuvaa was released on the condition that he not drink alcohol.

Three days later, Attutuvaa went to the police station planning to steal the remaining bottles but was thwarted by a civilian guard.

That afternoon, he returned, drunk and armed with a rifle.  

A citizen alerted RCMP Const. Jason Briggs at home. When Briggs arrived at the detachment, Attutuvaa aimed his rifle on him and advanced, ignoring commands to drop the weapon until he was just 25 metres from Briggs.  

In his decision, Kilpatrick notes that Brigg's restraint in the situation was remarkable. He had raised his weapon, but refrained from shooting Attutuvaa.

Kilpatrick said that Attutuvaa had a childhood many in Nunavut would envy, and no criminal record.  

He'll now serve 15 more months in custody followed by a year of probation.  

The rifle used in the incident will be destroyed.