Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Man fired airgun at Tynecastle Hearts football match

Tynecastle stadium
Image caption Stewards working at Tynecastle heard the airgun being fired from a flat overlooking the stadium

A man sparked an armed police alert when he fired an airgun as fans arrived for a football match at Tynecastle stadium in Edinburgh, a court has heard.

Johnathon Foster, 27, admitted culpably and recklessly discharging pistol on 24 August.

Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard that police were contacted after two stewards heard pellets being fired and saw a man with an airgun.

Foster will be sentenced next month.

He was originally charged with repeatedly firing the gun at members of the public attending the Hearts game, but the Crown accepted the deletion of that allegation.

The court was told that the stewards heard pellets striking objects near them and looked up to see a man with an air gun at the window of a flat overlooking the ground.

Fiscal Depute, John Kirk, told Sheriff Alistair Noble that because a firearm was involved a large number of police officers, including firearms officers, had been called to the scene.

The Chinese manufactured pistol, he said, was sufficiently powerful to constitute a firearm, but was exempt from requiring a certificate.

He added that the gun was found to be prone to accidental discharge if it was struck against a hard surface.

Defence solicitor, Julie Livingston, said her client had never been in trouble before. He had, she said, difficulty with his vision and could only read writing in a fairly large form.

Deferring sentence, Sheriff Noble noted that there had been a substantial reduction in the seriousness of the indictment, but added that nonetheless it was a serious and concerning matter.

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