Man brandished axe at brother following row

A 34-year-old man who brandished an axe at his brother has been admonished, having already spent seven months in prison.

Adam Nelson committed the offence on 5th May 2020 – but it took until today (Tuesday) before it was due to proceed to trial.

Nelson’s last minute guilty plea to an amended charge meant the trial did not go ahead.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said the case had an “extremely lengthy” procedural history – partially due to Covid.

Mr MacKenzie said Nelson, of Leaside, Mossbank, had fallen out with his brother earlier on the day of the offence.

The fiscal described the siblings’ relationship as “tempestuous”, particularly due to their heavy substance use.

After the argument, Nelson attended a friend’s house in Mossbank only to find his brother already there.

Mr MacKenzie said the row erupted again, Nelson picked up an axe, which was already in the house, and began brandishing the weapon at his brother, while shouting, swearing and making threats.

As he left the property he smashed a glass door pane, the court heard.

Defence agent Gregor Kelly said his client had very little recollection of the incident, which had been “clouded by the mists of time” and his substance use.

He said Nelson had not intended to continue the argument but accepted he acted in the way described.

Mr Kelly said his client released it was a serious matter and that brandishing an axe could cause serious injuries, whether intended or not.

The defence agent highlighted the seven months Nelson had already spent in prison, which he said was effectively the same as a 14-month sentence.

He said his time in custody had been during the height of the pandemic and he found the whole experience “deeply unpleasant”.

Mr Kelly said Nelson had “to some extent” managed to rid himself of his addiction and was no longer taking any illegal drugs.

He said the “penny had dropped” and his client had now been of “reasonably good behaviour”.

Sheriff Ian Cruickshank said that while the axe brandishing was a “serious incident of disorder”, he had taken into account the time spent on remand, and admonished him.

Nelson had also been told to show he had been of good behaviour after pleading guilty to shoplifting aftershave from Boots in Commercial Street in February.

Having done so, Sheriff Cruickshank also admonished Nelson for that offence.


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