Smirking Denny client told DWP staff he was going to shoot them

A frustrated job seeker landed in court after DWP staff noticed his so called “sarcastic” comments stating he was going to shoot staff and “make bombs”.

Monday, 28th October 2019, 2:35 pm

David O’Donnell (49) even smirked at the job centre employees, who were trying to assist him, after they read the threatening comments he had entered in his online journal. Even when police became involved in the matter he still failed to see what he had actually done wrong.

Appearing at Falkirk Sheriff Court last Thursday, O’Donnell admitted behaving in a threatening manner at the Job Centre Plus in Wellside Place, Falkirk on August 7 last year.

Procurator fiscal depute Collette Fallon said O’Donnell attended an appointment at the job centre and caused fear and alarm when staff read what he had written in the online journal he had been required to fill out.

She added: “He had noted on the work preparation sheet – in the section about what clients intended to do – he was planning to shoot DWP staff and was going to make bombs. He was seen to smirk about it.

“The interview was terminated and the accused was escorted out of the premises.”

The court heard O’Donnell, 49 Gill Park, Denny, had frequently made flippant and sarcastic comments in the journal.

William McIntyre, defence solicitor, said: “I think the staff did have knowledge of him and his attitude and his sarcastic way of expressing himself.”

Sheriff Derek Livingston was concerned O’Donnell – despite the fact he was now appearing on court – still did not seem to regard what he had done as a serious offence.

He said: “You are still saying you did nothing wrong. My concern is why do you think you have done nothing wrong when you tell someone you are going to shoot them? This is a serious matter – you don’t joke about guns and bombs.”

O’Donnell was placed on a supervised community payback order for 18 months with the condition he complete 135 hours unpaid work within six months.