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Drunken man jailed after threatening to slit 'hostages' throats during coronavirus lockdown siege in Elgin


By Court Reporter

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Armed police at the scene of the siege on April 23.
Armed police at the scene of the siege on April 23.

A DRUNKEN man armed with knives during a Covid-19 lockdown siege at a house in Elgin has been jailed for 14 months.

Armed police surrounded the house during a four and a half hour stand-off on April 23 this year in Findhorn Court after 27-year-old Liam Forsyth of North Port, Elgin had consumed alcohol and drugs.

Inverness Sheriff Court heard today that he and a group of friends had been drinking all afternoon in the garden when there was an argument between Forsyth and the occupant, Ian Mitchell.

Fiscal depute Alex Swain said that a boulder was thrown at the kitchen window and Liam Forsyth went inside to arm himself with knives, some of which he placed in his jumper.

Police were called just after 6pm and Forsyth held other knives to his throat then made gestures as if he had a gun, Ms Swain said.

"He threw knives and a phone out the window and one knife landed at the feet of an officer. He then said he had hostages inside and would slit their throats.

"Armed police were dispatched along with a dog unit and police negotiators and the area was cordoned off. He continued to throw items out the window."

Ms Swain said that one armed officer approached but Forsyth, who had barricaded himself in with furniture, threatened to slit his throat.

He eventually left the property about 10.50pm and was later arrested.

Sheriff Margaret Neilson was told that a drunk man and woman had been in the property at the time but were largely unaware of what was going on as they had been asleep.

Defence solicitor Ben Thom told the court that his client had no recollection of the incident because of the cocktail of substances he had taken.

"He is shocked and ashamed of himself and the severity of his behaviour is not lost on him."

Jailing Forsyth for 14 months, backdated to April 24, Sheriff Neilson commented: "This was in the early stages of lockdown and he should not have been there in the first place."

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