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Easter Ross man threatened to burn himself and police alive; Threats of violence during six-hour Balintore stand-off

By Staff Reporter

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Sheriff Margaret Neilson deferred sentence for background reports.
Sheriff Margaret Neilson deferred sentence for background reports.

HOMES in Balintore had to be evacuated when a 40 year-old man barricaded himself into his mother's house and poured petrol over the property threatening to burn police officers and himself alive.

John MacDonald had a six hour stand-off with police at the address in Parkland Place before eventually giving himself up.

But less than a month later armed police officers and emergency services were called to another stand-off at the same property after MacDonald's 63 year-old mother left her home and alerted emergency services because of his conduct.

Again he barricaded himself in and the street was cordoned off for safety reasons.

Appearing from custody MacDonald admitted behaving in a threatening or abusive manner in Parkland Place on July 4 and again on August 1

Depute fiscal Robert Weir described in the first incident how police received a call about 8pm following a call from a member of the public concerned about MacDonald's wellbeing.

Officers knocked at the front door and heard the accused shouting and swearing. The front door was locked so they went to the rear door. MacDonald appeared and was highly agitated and appeared under the influence of drink or drugs.

"The accused then slammed the door shut. locking it behind him," the fiscal said.

Officers heard banging about inside the house and he appeared to be barricading the doors.

He was later seen at a small bathroom window pouring petrol from a canister onto the front of the house and then in the living room saying he would burn the police and himself alive if they came in.

Neighbouring properties were evacuated and eventually MacDonald complied with police firearms officers and exited from the living room window.

The incident lasted 6 hours involved one fire crew, two ambulance crews and 16 police.

On August 1 police were called back to the same house when MacDonald's mother went to a neighbour's house and called police after arriving home and finding her house in a mess and the accused intoxicated.

Neighbours could hear a disturbance and heard screams for help before Mrs MacDonald's phonecall.

When police arrived he brandished a carving knife and paint scraper.

During the three hour stand-off he would have bursts of anger and refuse to speak to them. At 7.10m firearms officer arrived and MacDonald threw items out of an upstairs window. He smashed a living room window showering officers in glass and threw a television out of the window at officers before eventually giving himself up.

This incident involved 12 police, one ambulance crew and three fire crews.

Solicitor Clare Russell said MacDonald was already on two community payback orders and suffered mental health problems.

Sentence was deferred by Sheriff Margaret Neilson until January 9 for background reports.

View our fact sheet on court reporting here

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