Page last updated at 15:40 GMT, Friday, 13 March 2009

Teenager must pay for gnome prank

Graeme the gnome
Smith placed a garden gnome close to the edge of the shop roof

A teenager who placed a garden gnome close to the edge of the roof of a three-storey building in Elgin has appeared in court.

Firefighters were called to the incident last June after fears that shoppers walking below were in danger.

Kyle Smith, 18, admitted culpable and reckless behaviour by climbing on to the shop roof and placing the 1ft-high ornament in a dangerous position.

The sheriff said Smith should pay the cost of the fire crews attending.

Elgin Sheriff Court heard that Smith had climbed on to the roof of Boots the Chemist in Elgin town centre carrying the gnome.

He left it close to the edge of the roof to amuse his friends, who were sitting down below.

But the stunt was spotted by shop staff and led to firefighters being called to the scene.

'Showing off'

The court was told the operation cost the fire service 341.

Unemployed Smith, from Elgin, was on bail at the time of the offence.

Defence lawyer David Adams said Smith had thought "it might look amusing to those down below".

He add: "There was a fair bit of showing off going on."

Sheriff Noel McPartlin said: "I think at the very least you should pay for the cost of the services coming out to undo the damage.

"You have no income, so I suggest that you apply for benefits or get a job."

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