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Last Updated: Friday, 4 November 2005, 13:09 GMT
Man jailed for play park shooting
High Court Glasgow
The victim was just six, the court was told
A West Lothian man has been jailed for 20 months for shooting a six-year-old girl with an airgun.

It happened just three months after a Glasgow toddler, Andrew Morton, was killed by an air weapon.

Unemployed David Johnston, 22, fired his gas-powered weapon into a play park, the High Court in Glasgow was told.

The judge, Lord Kinclaven, said he would have faced three years in prison if he had not admitted the offence.

The court heard Johnston had been drinking cider before he began shooting from his bedroom window in Pumpherston last June.

Such is the gravity of the offence there is no alternative to a custodial sentence
Lord Kinclaven

He fired his weapon into woods nearby, injuring the little girl who was in a play park.

She was hit on the hand and fled terrified with her mother but Johnston continued firing, hitting a pole beside a boy playing on a swing.

Prosecutor Angus Stewart said at an earlier hearing: "This was a serious incident which had potential for tragic consequences."

The court heard Johnston's 10-year-old brother was among the children who were playing when he started shooting.

One boy heard a sound which he thought was an airgun being fired and saw Johnston looking out of an upstairs window holding a pistol.

Andrew Morton was shot dead with an airgun just three months before

Stuart Carson, defending, said: "Mr Johnston is remorseful about his actions."

Lord Kinclaven told him: "This was a reckless act but I take into account you have apologised.

"However, such is the gravity of the offence there is no alternative to a custodial sentence."

Three months earlier, two-year-old Andrew Morton was fatally injured near his Glasgow home by a drug addict Mark Bonini.

The shooting sparked a debate about the use of airguns.


SEE ALSO:
Life sentence for airgun killer
30 Aug 05 |  Scotland


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