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Ullapool man who confronted police with a replica gun is jailed

By Ali Morrison

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Inverness Sheriff Court.
Inverness Sheriff Court.

A man who confronted two lorry drivers and then armed police with a replica AK47 has been jailed for 18 months.

It was not until officers, who had travelled almost 60 miles from Inverness to answer distress calls, disarmed Ullapool man Andrew Partrick (57) that it was discovered the assault rifle was an imitation.

Although Partrick apologised to the drivers, police and his local community for the offence today when he appeared for sentence, Sheriff Sara Matheson jailed him for 18 months backdated to November 3.

She told him: "This was a highly distressing incident for those who encountered you, made worse by your threats.

"A man apparently armed with an assault rifle, particularly in a rural community like yours, will have been of great concern and unexpected.

"No-one knew it was not a genuine firearm but you."

The drama began at about 11.30pm on November 2, 2020 in Shore Street, 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 first offender Partrick, of St Valery Place, 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.”

The second tanker driver encountered Partrick about 45 minutes later, also near the pier, Sheriff 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 15 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 the gun.

“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”.

Defence solicitor Patrick O’Dea said his client hadn't pointed the weapon at anyone and there were few members of the public around.

He added that Partrick, who appeared by video link after admitting possession of an imitation firearm and threatening behaviour, wanted to apologise to everyone concerned.

"He has struggled with his mental health and hadn't been following his regimen for his medication. He now is," he said.

"He had taken alcohol that night which is not something he does regularly and there was no premeditation. It just came into his head and he did not intend to harm anyone but himself."

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