Knife threat to teenage group
Twenty kids gathered outside house
A Drymen man who confronted a large group of teenagers with a knife has avoided jail.
Simon Ward (39) assaulted a boy, then aged 15, and seized him by the hair, grabbed his clothing and pushed him during an alarming incident in the village.
He also shouted, swore, challenged others to fight and behaved in an aggressive manner while holding the blade. The incidents happened outside his home on Stirling Road on July 12.
Stirling Sheriff Court heard on Wednesday that a crowd of 15 to 20 young teenagers were gathered near Ward’s property.
Fiscal depute Laura Knox said: “The witness and various friends had congregated outside the home address of the accused.
“The witness was sitting on the wall chatting when the accused walked over to him, took hold of his hair, pulled him up and pushed him away, telling him ‘get off my balcony’.
“He said that he was only sitting on the wall and at this point the accused began swearing.”
This was said to have alarmed the group and Ward then challenged the boy and his friends to fight but they just walked away.
Ms Knox added that around 30 minutes later the accused made another appearance and approached the group again, this time armed with a knife.
She said: “He began walking towards the group of children and one of them shouted ‘he’s got a knife, run’.”
At this point the group dispersed in different directions and the boy who was originally assaulted phoned his mum to tell her what had happened. He asked if she could pick him up.
The group communicated with one another using their mobile phones and agreed to meet at a nearby bus stop.
When they got there they saw Ward was there and still had the knife.
He shouted ‘hello boys and girls’ at them so they ran into a local pub and waited for the victim’s mother to arrive.
Police were contacted and when Ward was later traced and arrested he replied: “I’m surprised and shocked.”
Defence solicitor Stephen Maguire said: “Shocked and surprised – add terrified, mortified and embarrassed to that. Thankfully nobody was hurt.
“He doesn’t recall what happened or what provoked him but he appreciates how serious this is.
“It seems entirely out of character. It was a midweek night during the school summer holidays. He can’t explain why he did it.
“He is mortified by the way he has behaved.
“In this case that unpaid work would be an appropriate way of dealing with it.”
Sheriff William Gilchrist said: “This is clearly very serious, given it involved the possession of a knife.
“The charge came about as a result of your intoxication. It could have been far more serious.
“However, I take into account the fact that you are a 39-year-old man with no previous convictions. This incident is clearly isolated.”
Ward was placed under supervision for 12 months and ordered to do 110 hours of unpaid work in the next six months. The sentence was imposed as a direct alternative to custody.
He can’t explain why he did it. He is mortified by the way he behaved.