Chain­saw-wield­ing OAP, 76, guilty of six charges

The Oban Times - - News -

A 76-YEAR- OLD re­tired po­lice of­fi­cer ‘set him­self up as the po­lice­man of Bal­lachul­ish’, Sher­iff Wil­liam Taylor QC said on Mon­day at Fort Wil­liam Sher­iff Court.

He then in­tim­i­dated peo­ple, the sher­iff added.

He found Thomas Al­lan Kir­sop, of Bru­dair, North Bal­lachul­ish, guilty of six charges, in­clud­ing swing­ing a chain­saw with its en­gine run­ning while star­ing at neigh­bours, ut­ter­ing threats and shout­ing of­fen­sive re­marks; star­ing at the head teacher of the vil­lage pri­mary school in an in­tim­i­dat­ing man­ner; en­gag­ing in con­duct which caused a hus­band and wife fear and alarm by fol­low­ing the wife’s car, pulling along­side; bang­ing into her at the vil­lage pri­mary school; send­ing an anony­mous let­ter con­tain­ing a news- pa­per clip­ping and plac­ing signs with an of­fen­sive slo­gan on a bound­ary fence.

The of­fences took place be­tween Jan­uary 1, 2015, and May 29, 2016, and were said to have fol­lowed a fall­ing out within an ex­tended fam­ily cir­cle.

Kir­sop was also found guilty of be­hav­ing in a threat­en­ing or abu­sive man­ner on Septem­ber 7, 2014, out­side an Onich ad­dress by shout­ing, swear­ing and ut­ter­ing of­fen­sive re­marks to­wards the house­holder; re­peat­edly park­ing out­side a lo­cal vil­lage store and star­ing at the oc­cu­pants in an in­tim­i­dat­ing man­ner; and on Au­gust 28, 2015, in Gle­nahul­ish, shout­ing, swear­ing and ut­ter­ing of­fen­sive re­marks to a man who lived there. None of these of­fences was re­lated.

Sher­iff Taylor had heard the pros­e­cu­tion and de­fence cases pre­vi­ously and on Mon­day June 12 he heard the clos­ing sub­mis­sions of procu­ra­tor fis­cal Ross Carvel and Kir­sop’s solic­i­tor Clare Russell be­fore de­liv­er­ing his ver­dict of guilty.

In reach­ing this de­ci­sion, Sher­iff Taylor said he had taken into account the Moorov doc­trine, where a num­ber of of­fences wit­nessed by only one per­son can be grouped to­gether to show a pat­tern of be­hav­iour and then could be used in a court case in Scot­tish law.

The procu­ra­tor fis­cal said Kir­sop had not given ev­i­dence.

This was only given by his wife and daugh­ter and their ev­i­dence was not cred­i­ble.

The sher­iff said: ‘His wife would have come and told the court black was white if it was go­ing to get her hus­band off these charges,’ adding that the daugh­ter’s ev­i­dence was ‘a case of over-act­ing’.

In Kir­sop’s de­fence, his solic­i­tor said: ‘ While she [his wife] was a very ner­vous wit­ness, she was an ex­tremely cred­i­ble and re­li­able wit­ness.’ She added that his daugh­ter was very up­set about her fa­ther be­ing ac­cused.

Kir­sop had never been in trou­ble be­fore, his solic­i­tor said. He and his close fam­ily have lived in Bal­lachul­ish for years with­out any trou­ble and then his daugh­ter’s sis­ter-in-law and her fam­ily moved in next door.

Sen­tence was de­ferred un­til July 17 for com­mu­nity jus­tice and so­cial work re­ports to be pre­pared on Kir­sop. Sen­tence was also de­ferred on three other bail-re­lated charges to which Kir­sop had pre­vi­ously pleaded guilty.

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