A teenager who caused panic among shoppers at a Fife shopping centre by pointing a gun at passers-by has avoided jail.
Armed police stormed the Kingdom Shopping Centre in Glenrothes on the evening of Saturday, November 23, 2019, following reports someone was in possession of what appeared to be a firearm and a knife.
The ‘gun’ was confirmed to be a replica and no-one was injured, but a 16-year-old boy was arrested and subsequently charged and given a structured deferred sentence after admitting a charge against him last year.
Appearing before Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court again this week, the boy, who is now 17-years-old and cannot be named for legal reasons, was ordered to pay a £400 fine after Sheriff Grant McCulloch heard how well he had responded since committing the offence.
Defence solicitor David Bell confirmed that his client had pled guilty to brandishing an imitation firearm and a knife, and pointing the imitation firearm at others, during a court appearance in August, when CCTV footage of the incident was shown before Sheriff McCulloch’s brother sheriff Jamie Gilchrist QC.
“It was apparent in it (the footage) that he was part of a group of youths, and a bit of what was described as ‘larking about’,” Mr Bell explained.
“Obviously passers-by who saw the items would have been significantly alarmed.
“The accused was given this opportunity of a structured deferred sentence which he seems to have grasped with both hands.
“He was a young man whose life was in danger of going off the rails when he was 16, but he’s done very well since the offence.”
Sheriff McCulloch concurred with the solicitor’s statements and said he had decided to impose a fine which was effectively discounted from custody because of the work he has done over the past year-and-a-half.
“This was larking about, but you can understand that if you were going about your shopping seeing what was going on that it would be pretty alarming to Mr and Mrs Joe Public,” Sheriff McCulloch told the boy.
“You should remember that, but I commend the work that you’ve done and the steps you’ve taken to sort yourself out.”
Sheriff McCulloch went on to concede that the outcome of a fine in an indictment case was “unusual”, but suggested the circumstances merited it.