Detained air rifle teenager appeals sentence

The teenager who was sentenced to three years in custody after threat­ening people with an air rifle is appealing against his sentence.

Father of 16 year-old Samuel Barlow, Paul Barlow, says his son hopes to receive a reduction in his custodial term, or a community-based sentence as an alternative.

It follows an online campaign in support of the teenager, who suffers from learning difficulties.

Last week the young Barlow, who is being kept at the Polmont Young Offenders Institution, was handed the sentence by sheriff Philip Mann after he admitted wreaking havoc in Lerwick last September.

He aimed his weapon at police in the Scord, Scalloway, before heading into Lerwick on foot and pointing the gun at people.

At the height of the drama Barlow became involved in a tense stand-off with armed police officers. But although the incident caused height­ened tension, with armed back-up flying up from Inverness by heli­copter, no-one was injured, and no trigger was pulled.

Sentencing him, sheriff Mann said he had “no alternative” to a custodial sentence, although he added it was “with no great joy” that he sent him to prison.

The court case resulted in an on­line petition being launched, which attracted widespread support.

Speaking to The Shetland Times, Bar­low’s father said an appeal was being launched.

“We want either a reduction to the sentence or a community order,” he said. “That is my hope”.

He said the support that there had been for his son was “very im­pressive”. He added the family were in regular contact with Samuel.

“We’ve been talking about this quite a lot,” he said.

Local inspector Lindsay Tulloch said: “The sentence passed at Ler­wick Sheriff Court demonstrates
the significance of this incident, [and] the threat to public safety. Emer­gency services responded to the incident, and the danger that Mr Barlow put himself at as a result of his actions.”


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