Maddiston gun fan narrowly missed neighbour's ear after shooting practice '˜ricochet'

A gun fan shot the back wall of his neighbour's conservatory while carrying out target practice in his garden.

A jury at Falkirk Sheriff Court found Thomas Robinson guilty of exposing a woman to risk of serious injury by recklessly discharging a firearm
A jury at Falkirk Sheriff Court found Thomas Robinson guilty of exposing a woman to risk of serious injury by recklessly discharging a firearm

Thomas Robinson (57) blamed “a ricochet” for the incident, in which a pellet penetrated Meryl Allen’s sun lounge.

Mrs Allen (69) said she was standing at the door of her conservatory in Maddiston when a pellet “whizzed” through the door past her ear and lodged itself high in the back wall of her house.

She told prosecutor Ruaraidh Ferguson she was “shocked” by the incident, which happened between 4pm and 5pm on a summer Wednesday afternoon.

At Falkirk Sheriff Court today (Monday), Robinson, of Tarduff Drive, Maddiston, denied recklessly discharging a firearm, but after a trial which lasted less than half a day a jury found him guilty of exposing Mrs Allen to risk of serious injury by the conduct.

Robinson, who is suffering from pancreatic problems and is too ill to work, produced testimonials from farmers on whose land he controlled rats and other pests “for pin money”.

Defence solicitor Gordon Addison said: “He was aiming at a board at the bottom of his garden which he has used for sighting guns for some time, but with a silencer on so the neighbours would never know about it.

“His best efforts at explaining what happened is that it was the result of a ricochet — the pellet went sideways into the wall at the back of the conservatory.”

The incident took place on August 30, 2017.

Mr Addison said: “Since then he has been basically confined to barracks.”

Deferring sentence until February 8 for background reports, Sheriff Craig Caldwell told Robinson he had committed “a very serious offence indeed”.

He said: “Whether you intended this or not, you’re a regular user of firearms, it appears, and you ought to have known better.”