Man fought with police and made shoot threat to Tesco staff, court told

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A man who moved to Oban to turn his life around ended up assaulting police officers and threatening to shoot Tesco staff, a court heard.

Robert Brown, 39, of 17 Combie Court, pled guilty at Oban Sheriff Court on September 22 to five charges relating to incidents on May 29 and May 30.

They encompassed disorderly conduct inside Tesco, including threatening staff and police with violence and assaulting two police officers.

He also admitted failing to comply with an order not to enter Tesco or its car park, and behaving in a disorderly manner at the Old Parish Church at Glencruitten Road.

Procurator Fiscal David Glancy said that on May 29, staff at Oban Tesco noticed Brown had been in and out on ‘numerous’ occasions.

Concerned by his levels of intoxication and failure to abide by social distancing during lockdown, he was invited to leave, Mr Glancy said.

Brown became ‘agitated and confrontational’ but left only to later return shouting and swearing, with his attention focused on one staff member in particular, said Mr Glancy.

He then left but returned again engaging in threatening behaviour and threatening to shoot staff and telling them he was not ‘scared’ of the police, the court was told.

Police officers arrived and noticed Brown displayed signs of having smoked heroin and there was a struggle, said Mr Glancy.

During the incident Brown lashed out with his feet and head, and reportedly said: ‘You think you’re something, you wouldn’t last five minutes in Niddrie.’

Brown was taken into custody but released on condition he did not go back to Tesco or enter its car park.

The next day store staff alerted police he was ‘nearby’ and Brown was located within the grounds of the Old Parish Church at Glencruitten Road where there was another confrontation with police.

Brown’s solicitor Ruben Murdanaigum said his client was ‘mortified and ashamed’ by his behaviour and had been prepared to hold his hands up at an early stage.

The court was told he had not had an ‘easy life’ and had been treated for depression and anxiety for many years and required medication.

He had moved to Oban to try and make something of himself, said Mr Murdanaigum.

Between 2008 until 2020, Brown had been actively involved in the town’s Oban Addiction Support and Information Service (O.A.S.I.S) helping other people overcome their problems.

But its closure due to a lack of funding had left his client facing a familiar spiral of problems regarding his housing, health and money, said Mr Murdanaigum.

Sheriff Patrick Hughes said the incidents were ‘serious matters’ and that Brown was ‘close to custody’.

Sheriff Hughes acknowledged that Brown had not been in trouble for a period of time and ordered reports to consider a ‘restriction of liberty’.

Sentence was deferred until November 4.