A man has admitted calling police on his ex-partner’s new love interest – sparking a huge armed response in a north-east village.
John McGregor made the late-night hoax call claiming Iain Mowatt was in Rosehearty with a handgun.
It led to a major response from police with armed officers travelling north from Aberdeen to the coastal community just days before Christmas. No weapon was ever found.
A second call was later received claiming that a gun had been fired in the historic fishing village.
McGregor appeared at Peterhead Sheriff Court yesterday and pled guilty to causing annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety by repeatedly phoning the 999 emergency system without a genuine reason.
The 31-year-old also admitted assaulting Mr Mowatt by throwing a pint glass at him during Hogmanay celebrations at Cheers Bar in Fraserburgh.
Fiscal depute Ruaridh McAlister told the court armed officers rushed to the village near Fraserburgh after a caller said a man was carrying a gun.
He said: “Shortly after midnight there was a 999 call claiming that a man had a handgun in Rosehearty.
“Two police armed response units and dog handlers were called and travelled the 45 miles from Aberdeen.
“Local officers were also called to the area and it later emerged the emergency call had been made from a phone box in Fraserburgh.
“A further call was received claiming that they heard a gunshot in Rosehearty.
“The police went round to Mr Mowatt’s and the two officers listened to the phone calls and asked if it was him speaking. He said no.”
Defence agent Leonard Burkinshaw said McGregor has just recently split up with his partner and she had moved in with Mr Mowatt.
He said the hoax call came at a time when he was struggling to cope with his grandmother’s death and McGregor was due to attend her funeral just minutes after his appearance in court.
Mr Burkinshaw said: “All of this came when his grandmother was very unwell and she later died.
“The funeral is taking place today at 1.30pm in Fraserburgh.
“He understands that acting in the way he did was wrong.”
Sheriff Christine McCrossan deferred sentence on McGregor, whose address was given in court papers as St Andrews Drive, Fraserburgh, for a criminal justice social work report.
He will return to the dock next month.