Firebomb threat man sentenced
HEARING difficulties combined with extreme drunkeness may well have led to a Fort William man assaulting police officers and threatening to firebomb other officers’ homes.
That was the mitigating scenario presented by defence solicitor Gerard Sweeney at Fort William Sheriff Court this week, addressing Sheriff Eilidh MacDonald ahead of her sentencing his client Edward Richardson.
Richardson, 43, of Castle Drive, Lochyside, had pleaded guilty at court last month that in the early hours of June 10, at the Volunteer Arms pub in Fort William High Street, he had refused to leave the premises when asked by two police officers and had assaulted them.
He also further admitted that in a police vehicle travelling to the town’s police station he had threatened police officers and their families.
Richardson had threatened to firebomb the homes of two off-duty officers that he knew the names of, as well as threatening their lives and that of their families.
Mr Sweeney said his client’s hearing should normally be supplemented by hearing assistance but this had not been available on the night in question.
‘The extreme inebriation combined with the isolation in communication led to an uncharacteristic performance by Mr Richardson,’ added Mr Sweeney, highlighting the large volume of diverse correspondence on behalf of Richardson.
‘This man is otherwise a settled family man and I know his family has been very supportive of him.
‘It has to be said they are also extremely embarrassed by this – not just by offending behaviour but by this type of offending behaviour.’
Sentencing Richardson to 115 hours of unpaid community work, Sheriff MacDonald said she considered this a very serious matter.
‘Looking at the report and the favourable references from various members of the community I am prepared to deal with this by imposing a community payback order.
‘There will be a six-month supervision order and you will do 115 hours of unpaid work and this is imposed as a direct alternative to custody.’