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Air pistol 'joke' at Wick Harbour lands student in dock

By Court Reporter

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A Wick man's practical joke in brandishing an air pistol at the local harbour in the early hours backfired on him.

For the incident was observed on CCTV by a concerned wind farm office worker who contacted the police.

Officers charged the owner of the gun, Blair Miller (21), who admitted possession of the weapon in public, on August 23, 2020, without a reasonable excuse.

Fiscal Sue Foard told Wick Sheriff Court on Wednesday that the wind farm worker who observed Miller shortly after 2am couldn't understand why the accused's friends were not alarmed by his actions and reported the matter to the police.

The fiscal said that Miller was required to attend at Wick police station where officers seized the gun and ammunition pellets. Miller told them: "It was just a joke in front of my friends... I always make a joke of it."

Solicitor Josey Donachie said that Miller's behaviour was completely unacceptable and he had made the mistake of not appreciating there would be consequences.

Sheriff Mark Lindsay QC said that Miller's friends knew it was a joke when they saw him brandishing the pistol and didn't feel threatened or alarmed, although the accused had perhaps gone a little too far.

The sheriff took into account that Miller, of Dunnet Avenue, Wick, was remorseful and had tendered a plea at an early stage. He had, hopefully, learned a lesson and there would be no risk of a repetition of his behaviour.

Miller, a student, was made subject to a three-month good behaviour bond.

The gun and pellets were ordered to be forfeit.

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