Man with bread knife caused ‘extreme alarm’

A man caused distress in Levenwick when he brandished a bread knife.

Gordon McBurnie, 46, of Nikkavord Lea in Baltasound acted in an “extremely alarming” manner when he breached the peace while carrying the weapon.

McBurnie admitted possessing a bread knife without reasonable excuse at Staneybrake, Levenwick on 11th June when he appeared in the dock at Lerwick.

He also pleaded guilty to behaving in a threatening or abusive manner by shouting, swearing and brandishing the knife at the same location that day.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said the accused was a man with a “significant alcohol problem” who relied on a variety of different kinds of medication.

He said the offence may have arisen due to McBurnie mixing drink with his medication.

“It was an extremely alarming incident for those unfortunate enough to encounter him, roaring and bawling, at five o’ clock in the morning, waving a knife about.”

He said McBurnie’s behaviour persisted for hours, leading witnesses to call round each other warning them to lock their doors.

The behaviour continued until 10am, at which point police were called.

They searched McBurnie and recovered the knife, which was in the back pocket of his trousers, concealed by his jacket.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said he had obtained a letter from McBurnie’s doctor.

“There does appear to be a situation where he was suffering from hallucinations and he accepts that’s partly due to his consumption of alcohol.”

He said McBurnie had moved to Unst since the offence took place.

Sheriff Philip Mann told McBurnie: “These are serious offences. Any offence involving an offensive weapon, particularly a knife and brandishing that knife in public, has to be treated by the court as very serious, because of the unpredictable circumstances that may arise.”

He adjourned the case until 3rd August for background reports to be compiled. A Crown motion was put forward for forfeiture of the knife, which Sheriff Mann will decide upon during McBurnie’s next appearance.


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