A hastily written letter of apology to Peterhead Sheriff Court yesterday saved a man who threatened to shoot police officers and closed down an entire Fraserburgh street from a possible prison sentence.
The emergency services were forced to cordon-off the town’s College Bounds after Steven Cordiner made the worrying claim in August 2016.
Officers had responded to reports of a domestic incident after the 27-year-old attacked his partner, Jacqueline Smith.
He had apparently visited the property in Fraserburgh to collect some belongings when he “flipped” and kicked Ms Smith on the head and body, grabbed her hair and dragged her across a room on August 6, 2016.
She managed to flee and dialled 999 from a friend’s home. When police arrived, Cordiner called Ms Smith and she placed him on loud speaker.
He told police he was in the property and that he had a rifle, prompting them to close the street to the public.
After a stand-off, an air rifle was found and Cordiner was detained.
The accused subsequently admitted being in possession of the firearm with intent to cause fear of violence at the address on College Bounds on August 7, 2016.
He admitted attacking Ms Smith and breaching bail conditions by breaking a curfew by visiting at property on Nelson Brae, Keith, on September 11, 2016.
Cordiner also admitted behaving in threatening or abusive manner by repeatedly shouting, swearing and uttering threats outside the same address.
Sheriff Christine McCrossan deferred sentence on Cordiner last week and remanded him in custody so he could write a letter explaining why he had missed previous court appearances.
Yesterday, he appeared at Peterhead Sheriff Court where defence agent Leonard Burkinshaw said his client’s seven days behind bars in Peterhead had helped him.
He said: “The court asked Mr Cordiner to produce a letter to explain why he didn’t comply previously.
“He has written a letter setting out the background to this and his period on remand has let him think more clearly.
“Since he has been at HMP Grampian he has met with family and his sister has indicated she would have him at her address.”
Sheriff McCrossan read Cordiner’s letter and said its contents had convinced her he deserved another chance.
She said: “I have had the opportunity to read your letter and about your circumstances.
“It demonstrates that you have potential and I am going to give you a chance to fulfil that by releasing you into the community.”
Sheriff McCrossan ordered Cordiner, of Keith Gardens in Crimond, to carry out 240 hours of unpaid work within 18 months.