A man has been handed unpaid work after sparking an armed police response by walking into a city centre pub holding an air rifle.
Edgar Teniuch found the weapon, which was wrapped in a big bag, and decided to take it home, but caused panic when he stopped at the Northern Bar on Geroge Street on the way.
Police were contacted when the 34-year-old left, and covert armed officers raced to scour the area for him, tracing him just as he was about to get on a bus.
Fiscal depute Colin Neilson told Aberdeen Sheriff Court a witness had arrived at the Northern Bar with some family members at around 2pm on December 8, 2019.
At approximately 4pm two males entered and approached a table, the witness noted one of them was carrying a “long, thin item wrapped in a bin bag”.
Mr Neilson said the witness thought Teniuch was holding the item in a “low profile” way, adding: “From the shape, it looked like some kind of firearm.
“The witness then said ‘that’s a gun’. The accused said ‘shh’ as if to quiet him.
“He then spoke to his friend and left the bar.
“Police were called by people in the bar.
“Firearms officers were dispatched to trace the accused.”
The officers searched the area and found Teniuch waiting for a bus on George Street, still in possession of the air rifle.
The weapon was found to be a Model 77 barrel cocking, spring-operated air rifle. It was in worn condition with the front and rear sights missing, erosion to metal surfaces and specks of paint on it.
Mr Neilson said the air rifle was still in working order and was capable of discharging pellets.
Teniuch, of Union Grove, Aberdeen, pled guilty to being in possession of an unloaded, functional air rifle without a certificate.
‘He thought it would look nice in his house so took it’
Defence agent Iain Hingston described the incident as a “strange one”.
He said: “He tells the police he found it earlier that day. It was already in the black bag when he found it.
“He thought it would look nice in his house so took it.
“He didn’t take it out of the bag in the pub.
“He’d gone in for a drink, realised somebody had become upset and immediately apologised.”
Mr Hingston added the offence was “not as sinister as it might first appear”.
Sheriff Philip Mann said: “The law has to take a serious view of offences of this nature because of the potential danger to the public caused by people being in possession of firearms in a public place.”
He ordered Teniuch to carry out 75 hours of unpaid work and granted a crown motion for forfeiture of the air rifle.