Tayside and Central Scotland

William Liddell fined after threatening party-goers with air rifle

A man who confronted partygoers in a neighbouring flat with an air rifle and threatened to shoot them in the face has been fined £700.

William Liddell, 59, confronted his teenage neighbour and her friends at the top floor flat in Dundee for making too much noise.

Dundee Sheriff Court heard that Shannon Mackie, 19, had held a number of parties after moving into the property.

Liddell had previously pleaded guilty to the firearms charge.

The court had heard that Liddell had lived in the quiet tenement for 22 years before Miss Mackie moved into the block.

She was reported to have held "many late night parties".

Liddell's wife Ann was a nurse who became his registered carer after he suffered a stroke that left him mostly blind.

On 17 March, Mrs Liddell was trying to sleep and after being kept awake by noise she went upstairs to ask for the party to be toned down.

Lawyer Paul Parker-Smith, defending, said that her request was met by an outburst from Miss Mackie, who allegedly pushed her back on to the banister of the third floor landing.

Hearing the commotion, Liddell grabbed his air rifle, which he used to control vermin on his allotment, and went up the stairs.

Firearm threat

The court heard how he pointed the rifle towards the flat and said he would shoot the partygoers in the face if any more noise was made.

The police were then called after the rifle was taken by one of the witnesses and was found to be loaded.

Liddell admitted possessing a firearm with the intent to cause people to believe that unlawful violence would be used against them.

Sheriff Kenneth McGowan said: "Firearms offences are by definition serious and an offence of this type would normally attract a custodial sentence.

"The circumstances here are unusual, however, and while the lead up to this didn't amount in law to provocation as such I appreciate you and your wife suffered some aggravation.

"This was a serious misjudgement and a spur of the moment offence when you feared for your wife's safety."

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