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.’

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