Gun threat phonecall to local primary school

Conway appeared at Falkirk Sheriff CourtConway appeared at Falkirk Sheriff Court
Conway appeared at Falkirk Sheriff Court
A man claimed he was told to phone up a local primary school and say he had a gun and was going to kill a mum and her son.

Gordon Conway (44) made several threatening phone calls to the primary school office over a period of weeks, mentioning a specific pupil and his mother. On one of the calls he said he had a gun and was “going to kill them both”.

The resulted in a large number of armed response police officers attending the school and pupils being kept inside until the officers made sure the area was safe.

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Conway later claimed it was the mother herself who had told him to make the calls – offering him sex if he did so and threatening to tell his wife about their relationship if he failed to make the call.

The woman was supposedly listening in when he made the threatening phone calls.

Appearing at Falkirk Sheriff Court today, Conway previously admitted to threatening and abusive behaviour with the calls he made to the school office between March 19 and April 22, 2015.

Mhairi Alexander, procurator fiscal depute, said: “This occurred over a number of days. On March 19 at around 2.40pm the witness was in the office of the primary school when she received a phone call from the accused asking if a certain pupil was at school.

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“She said she couldn’t give out those details and asked the man’s name. The accused said he was a friend of his and then hung up. A few moments later he called back and asked again if the boy was at the school.

“He hung up again when he was asked his name. The head teacher was informed the matter was recorded and police were called.”

The next phone call was made on March 23.

The procurator fiscal depute said: “At 3.10pm the witness received another call from the accused stating he saw the boy’s mum picking him up at school and said ‘she’s looking good’.

“Then on April 20 the witness received a call from the accused stating ‘It’s not looking good – I have a gun. I’m going to kill them both’.”

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The office worker took this threat to relate to the mother and the son.

Police were called and a large number of officers, including armed response personnel attended at the school.

The premises was secured and parents were unable to collect their children until the matter was investigated.

Conway was eventually traced by officers.

Defence solicitor Michael Lowrie said: “There are two actors in this matter, the mother of the boy – who is now deceased – and Mr Conway. He met her 11 years ago and they had a relationship.

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“Mr Conway is a vulnerable person and she appears to have been a very demanding figure. He gave her a lot of money on various occasions. The relationship lasted a fairly long time it was on and off again, but by 2015 it was off.

“He was contacted by this woman and she asked him to make the phone calls to the school and offered him sex if he made the calls. She also threatened to disclose their relationship to his wife if he did not.

“During the calls she was actually on Facetime listening to what was going on. She had made a sexual assault allegation against a man and she thought that the phone calls may well be attributed to this man.

“These calls were made using Mr Conway’s own phone – it was registered to him – and as a consequence it was traced to him. He explained to police at that time how matters had developed.

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“He seems to be a man who is fairly easily led and influenced. He is still with his wife.”

The court heard Conway was a first offender and unlikely to commit any further offences.

Sheriff Derek Livingston said Conway’s gun threat phone calls must have caused “absolute chaos”.

Conway was placed on a supervised community payback order for two years with the condition he complete 300 hours unpaid work within 12 months. He was also made subject to a restriction of liberty order.