A chef who telephoned a child and told them to find a knife and stab a woman has avoided a prison sentence.
Mark Davidson, from Edinburgh, called the youngster, who lives in Moray, and made the menacing request after a huge drinking session.
The 33-year-old told the child to stab the woman in the stomach before later telling them she was probably “too fat to get the knife through”.
Yesterday Davidson appeared from custody at Elgin Sheriff Court after pleading guilty to a charge of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner likely to cause fear or alarm on June 28.
Sheriff Ian Cruickshank described the incident as a “worrying and nasty” offence.
Fiscal depute Alex Swain said the accused initially said hello to the youngster before asking him to “go get a knife” and stab the woman.
Miss Swain explained the woman, who was in the same room, grabbed the phone from the child after becoming alarmed at the requests being made after overhearing the call.
She said: “She asked the accused if he was making a threat. He replied ‘No darling, it’s a promise’.
“He then said: ‘When I get my hands on you I am going to stab the life out of you’.
“She hung up the phone and felt scared and terrified. She sought the support from agencies and as a result of encouragement from them she contacted the police.”
Other children who were present in the room at the time gave evidence to police before Davidson was later traced in Livingston.
Solicitor Matthew O’Neill, for Davidson, said his client had drunk “15 beers and a bottle of vodka” before making the call.
He said: “His recollection of events is patchy.
“He can only profusely apologise for the language that was used.
“He has told me that he is deeply ashamed of the language, even more so because young children would have heard it.
“He works as a chef in the Edinburgh area and that employment remains open to him.”
Davidson, of Parkhead Place in the Sighthill area of Edinburgh, was sentenced to 100 hours of unpaid work and has been placed under supervision for 12 months after also admitting to breaching a condition of his bail by speaking to the woman.
A 15-month non-harassment order was also granted.