Thursday, June 05, 2008

Sheriff tells two who shot boy in head to watch more cowboy films

Not the best advice one could offer perhaps ?

The Daily Record reports :

Watch more cowboy films, judge tells airgun yobs

Jun 5 2008 By Kurt Bayer

TWO drunken idiots who shot a boy of 14 in the head with an air rifle were told by a sheriff yesterday to watch cowboy films.

Instead of jailing Simon Anderson, 20, and Michael Brankine, 22, sheriff Richard Davidson told them: "The problem is that there are not enough western films on television, where you can see the consequences of ricochets."

Anderson and Brankine fired the rifle from a flat window into a street after aboozing session.

The victim was hit by a stray pellet and called police, who went to the flat.

Anderson and Brankine denied everything at first but Anderson then showed the cops the gun.

The pair said they had planned to go to a park to shoot at cans but then decided to fire at lamp-posts, chimneys and a phone box from Anderson's flat instead.

The boy was heading for the call box when he was shot.

He wasn't badly hurt. But Sheriff Davidson reminded Anderson and Brankine that a two-year-old boy had been killed in Glasgow by a man firing an airgun from a window.

Mark Bonini, 27, got life for murdering little Andrew Morton in 2005.

Sheriff Davidson told the two accused: "You cannot fire into a street and be aware of how it's going to behave once it's been fired.

"It was very good fortune, for you and your victim, that the injury was superficial."

Sheriff Davidson noted that both men were first offenders and were in steady education and employment.

He said: "After conversations with colleagues, and with some reluctance, I've come to the conclusion that it would be inappropriate to send you to prison."

At Dundee Sheriff Court, student Anderson was sentenced to 240 hours' community service after admitting culpably and recklessly firing the air rifle in the city's Park Avenue on January 12.

Brankine, of Langlands Street, Dundee, admitted firing the shot that hit the boy. He also got 240 hours' community service and was told to pay £500 compensation.

Kevin Hampton, for Brankine, said his client was sorry for his "very stupid mistake" and would "never touch a weapon again".

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