Sep 21 2012 by Colin Rutherford, Kilmarnock Standard
A MAN who sparked an armed police response after threatening his partner with a toy gun was jailed for four months.
Cops swooped on a house in Knockmarloch Drive, Kilmarnock, after drunk Francis Laird phoned them to say he was armed.
During an earlier hearing at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court, Laird, 39, of St Maurs Crescent, pleaded guilty to acting in a threatening or abusive manner on August 18.
At that time, Scott Toal, prosecuting, said trouble started when Laird, who later told police he had drunk 15 bottles of beer, told his girlfriend: “Get out, or I’m going to start.”
Her response was to go and sit on the doorstep with her laptop computer.
But five minutes later Laird appeared brandishing what she knew to be a plastic BB gun. He told her: “I’m going to shoot you.”
The woman walked away from the house.
Mr Toal said: “The accused returned to the house, contacted the police and told them he had chased his partner out of the house with a handgun.
“This triggered a firearms incident response.”
Mr Toal continued that “things got worse” after police contacted the woman’s son in a bid to ascertain whether she was safe and well. He then phoned Laird, “who told them that he had a gun and had been chasing his mother.” The son responded by rushing to his mother’s home, driving past police who had the house under observation.
Said Mr Toal: “Officers, despite the fact they were advised to stay outside, followed him in.” They were confronted by Laird who was pointing what appeared to be a black gun. At the time, it was unclear whether it was a real weapon. Laird’s partner’s son tackled the accused himself.
Mr Toal told the court: “He was assisted by the police officers and the BB gun was removed from the accused.
“It was found to be a plastic toy.”
Graeme Cunningham, defending, said the person most at risk was his client who was “in danger of being shot by police.”
But Sheriff Alistair Watson responded: “That’s all very well, but the police had to go into that house not knowing if they were about to die.”