Axe-wielding Falkirk offender intended to 'kneecap' ex-partner's 'new lover'

An axe-wielding offender told police how he had planned to “kneecap” a man he believed had become romantically involved with his ex-partner.

Tuesday, 3rd August 2021, 4:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 3rd August 2021, 4:54 pm

Richard Mulholland, 114 Westfield Street, Falkirk, appeared from custody via video link at Falkirk Sheriff Court last Thursday.

The 38-year-old had admitted behaving threateningly by sending a photo of himself in possession of an axe on June 19.

Having been blocked by the woman on Facebook, Mulholland informed his ex-partner’s sister he’d see her in “15 to 20 years” before sending a picture of himself holding the weapon.

Richard Mulholland, of Falkirk, appeared from custody via video link at Falkirk Sheriff Court. Picture: Michael Gillen.

He also pleaded guilty to possessing the weapon in Grangemouth and breaching bail by contacting his ex on June 21.

The court was told Mulholland’s 14-year relationship with the woman ended in January 2020.

Unable to contact her through Facebook, Mulholland began making sinister threats to the woman’s sibling on June 19 in relation to a man he thought was his ex’s new partner.

Procurator fiscal depute Rebecca Reid said: “The accused sent messages such as, ‘I’m heading to his in ten minutes, he’ll be dropped’.”

Mulholland’s ex was then contacted by her sister, who warned her of the threats and who’d already called 999.

The woman’s door buzzer rang around 30 minutes later.

The fiscal depute continued: “The witness answered the buzzer and the accused stated it was him and asked to be let in.

“The witness told him that the police were looking for him and asked him to leave.

“Around one minute later, the witness was within the hallway when she heard the accused had climbed onto her balcony and was repeatedly banging on the windows and shouting about her having a new partner in the house, so the witness dialled 999 also.

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“Police arrived a short time later and the witness stated she heard the police van arriving and was looking into the living room when she saw the accused jumping off the balcony and running in the opposite direction of the police.

“Police traced the witness and she was visibly upset and distressed. When the buzzer went again, the police attended at the front door, tracing the accused.

“He was cautioned whilst walking to the police van and freely stated, ‘Why are you lifting me? Is it because I threatened that guy with an axe? I did threaten him, I’d batter his face, even with these cuffs on’.”

Mulholland also told police his ex’s new partner had “called me a name on Facebook so I was going to kneecap him”.

He later confessed he’d thrown the axe into a field near his ex’s home.

Defence solicitor Stephen Biggam said his client was intoxicated at the time of the offence, adding: “He was struggling with his mental health.

“He’s got it into his head there’d been some relationship going on. He's got very little recollection.”

As Mulholland had been remanded since June 23, Sheriff Derek Livingston said: “I take the view this is a matter which could and should’ve been dealt with by a custodial sentence but you’ve served the equivalent of a ten-week sentence and you do need help.”

Mulholland was ordered to complete 160 hours’ unpaid work within 12 months.

He was also placed under supervision for three years and made subject to a conduct requirement to engage with alcohol and mental health services.

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