Four years in prison for Bonnybridge gunman

Mickels admitted to rape at Glasgow High Court.
Mickels admitted to rape at Glasgow High Court.

A gun-toting offender held a firearm just a few metres from an innocent motorist’s face as the terrified man feared for his life.

Steven Farrell (27), from Bonnybridge, brandished a firearm at the 24-year-old man, who was a stranger to him, before fleeing in his Seat Leon and abandoning it in Whiteinch, Glasgow. He was later traced by police.

At the High Court in Glasgow today judge Lord Mulholland, in sentencing him to four years in prison, told Farrell: “You presented a firearm or an imitation firearm at a member of the public. That must have been a very frightening experience for him. You took cold feet and didn’t go through with whatever was on your mind.”

The terrifying incident took place seconds after the complainer stopped to buy a bottle of juice at a shop in Glasgow’s Temple area last July 3.

Farrell admitted presenting a firearm or imitation weapon at his victim.

The court heard the complainer parked his Range Rover when Farrell’s car raced up and stopped alongside the 4x4.

Prosecutor Graeme Jessop said: “Farrell – who was the driver – was staring at the man then raised a gun and pointed it at him. He estimated the gunman was no more than four metres from him.”

The court heard the terrified motorists believed he was about to be shot.

Mr Jessop said: “He told police he could not think of any reason why he would be targeted. He was not known to police, has no previous convictions and was not aware of having any significant disagreement with others.”

The court heard the man was “significantly traumatised” and had “fears for his own safety”.

No firearm was found inside the abandoned Seat Leon – but it emerged Farrell was the owner of the car and his home in Bonnybridge was raided a few days later.

Mr Jessop: “During the search, two keys for the Seat Leon were found in a bag inside the tumble dryer.”

A weapons expert concluded – after being given a description of the gun – that it may have been a revolver or self-loading pistol. However, it could also have been a blank firing gun or “realistic imitation” firearm.

Solicitor advocate Callum Weir, representing Farrell, said: “Mr Farrell’s father is keeping a job open for him in Aberdeen in the landscaping business.”