Man who threatened to firebomb police officer’s house spared jail

Edward Richardson leaves Fort William Sheriff Court.

A Fort William man who threatened to firebomb a police officer’s house and told another he was going to “do him and his baby” has avoided jail.

Edward Richardson, of Castle Drive, earlier pleaded guilty at the town’s sheriff court to behaving in a disorderly manner at the Volunteer Arms in the High Street and refusing to leave when asked to do so.

He admitted shouting and swearing and refusing to give his details to arresting officers,

The 43-year-old also pleaded guilty to threatening the officers and their families.

At the earlier hearing, Procurator Fiscal Depute Martina Eastwood said: “At 1.30 am, two officers on mobile patrol were called to the pub and saw the accused who was very intoxicated. He refused to leave the premises.

“When the constables tried to take him away he became very aggressive, saying he had done nothing wrong.

“Again he refused to leave the premises and refused to give the officers his details. He started to shout and swear at them.

“At 1.45am he was arrested and even when handcuffed he continued to resist the police who had to place him on the ground.”

Ms Eastwood added: “One officer was kicked on his cheekbone on the left side of his face and the other was kicked on the hand,” she said.

“He was taken to Fort William police station where he made threats to the officers saying he was going to set their house on fire and firebomb them.

“Later at 6.20am the custody sergeant got a call from Richardson’s cell saying he wanted to contact his girlfriend.

“He told the sergeant he was going to ‘do him and his baby’ and added ‘I’m going to do one of you’.”

Yesterday, Richardson’s defence lawyer, Gerry Sweeney, told Sheriff Eilidh MacDonald: “His behaviour was abhorrent but there is a decreasing rate in his offending.

“On this occasion he was extremely the worse for alcohol, but he has a hearing problem which gives him a feeling of isolation.

“He is a hard-working, settled, family man.

“He must be on the cusp of getting a custodial sentence, but I appeal to you to give him a non-custodial one.”

Sheriff MacDonald, who had earlier called for a criminal justice social work report on Richardson, said: “The report contains favourable references about him.

“Under the circumstances I will issue a community payback order which will see him under supervision for the next two-and-a-half years.

“He will also have to do 115 hours of unpaid work for the community.”