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Gunman wielding imitation AK47 terrified lorry drivers in Ullapool, Wester Ross, Inverness Sheriff Court has heard

By Ali Morrison

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Inverness Justice Centre. Picture: Gary Anthony.
Inverness Justice Centre. Picture: Gary Anthony.

ARMED police confronted a Wester Ross man carrying an AK47 after two lorry drivers reported fearing for their lives when approached by the gunman.

It wasn’t until officers, who had travelled almost 60 miles to answer the distress calls, disarmed 57-year-old Andrew Partrick that it was discovered the rifle was an imitation.

The drama began about 11.30pm on November 2, 2020 in Shore Street in Ullapool as the first lorry driver was sitting in the cab of his HGV petrol tanker.

Fiscal depute Martina Eastwood told Inverness Sheriff Court that Partrick, of St Valery Place, Ullapool, came up to the tanker with the fake firearm across his chest.

The driver thought it was real and after Partrick tried to engage him in conversation “saying something to the effect take a picture and are you scared, he contacted the police,” Ms Eastwood said.

“Partrick walked behind the tanker and the driver ran to the nearby harbour watch room to seek safety,” Ms Eastwood went on.

The second tanker driver encountered Partrick about 45 minutes later, also near the pier, Sheriff Sara Matheson heard.

He was standing in the roadway but stepped aside as the tanker passed. It parked on the pier and the driver walked to the front when he saw Partrick two metres away with the barrel pointing in the air.

“Partrick said ‘are you the driver’ and ‘I’m trying to get the pigs’ or ‘wake the pigs.’ The driver, fearing for his life, engaged him in small talk in an effort to appease him and took refuge in the nearby harbour watch room.”

Ms Eastwood said police arrived fifteen minutes later, to be reinforced shortly afterwards by the armed response unit.

As Partrick walked towards them, they drew their weapons and repeatedly told Partrick to drop his weapon.

“He walked towards them with his arms outstretched, the rifle held by the barrel. They took hold of the rifle and he was handcuffed,” Ms Eastwood added.

Later at Burnett Road Police Station in Inverness, Partrick made various threats to officers after being charged, including “you will be shot in six months time” and “I’m going to burn your kids”.

He also told them that he wanted “death by cop”.

Sheriff Matheson deferred sentence until March 18 for a background report and defence solicitor Patrick O’Dea reserved his comments. Partrick, who appeared by video link and admitted possession of an imitation firearm and threatening behaviour, was again remanded in custody.

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