Published: 22/05/2018 10:30 - Updated: 22/05/2018 10:35

Armed police called to Dornoch house as man threatens to 'kill a random person'


Sheriff imposes jail sentence
Sheriff imposes jail sentence


A SUTHERLAND man triggered a full-scale alert after making a chilling late-night call to emergency services, a court has been told.

Scott Sly (44), River Street, Dornoch, said he had killed his brother and he was going to walk outside and kill a “random person”.

Two police officers who went to his house, where he lived alone, were greeted by a drunken Sly on the doorstep wielding a carving knife with an eight inch long blade.

The officers were so alarmed that they called for reinforcements.

Armed response officers, police dog handlers and trained negotiators all converged on the county town in the dead of night.

There followed a two-hour stand-off before Sly finally came out of his house and dropped the knife.

He was taken to Raigmore Hospital, Inverness, where he kicked off again and had to be restrained.

Sly has been in custody since the incident on April 22. He originally appeared in private at Tain Sheriff Court on April 23 and appeared again on May 1 when he admitted behaving in a threatening or abusive manner likely to cause a reasonable person to suffer fear or alarm.

Sentence was deferred for background reports.

At Tain Sheriff Court yesterday, Sly was jailed for 200 days.

The court was told that the incident kicked off after Sly called 999 at around 12.30am on the day in question.

Ross Carvel, prosecuting, said: “He advised the call handler that it was time for someone to die and he wished to kill himself. He stated that he was going to walk outside and find a random person and kill them.”

Sly later claimed to the call handler that he had taken 50 diazepam tablets the day before in a suicide attempt.

When the constables first arrived, Sly told the call handler: “Here we go, here we go. Time to die”.

As the officers retreated, Sly threatened them before going inside the house and locking the door.

Mr Carvel continued: “Constables updated the control room and as a result of what they said further local officers, armed response officers, dog handlers and negotiators were all tasked to attend.

Officers created a safe area around the accused’s house.”

During the next two hours officers made repeated attempts to engage Sly, who appeared three times on his doorstep.

He threatened that the first person through the door would be “getting it” and he also urged officers to “Go get your guns” and to shoot him.

The third time he appeared Sly brandished the knife and pointed it at his own stomach.

Mr Carvel said: “The accused eventually did comply with instructions and made his way into the garden towards them still brandishing the knife, which he dropped on the ground. He was arrested and the knife seized.”

But after being taken to hospital at around 3.40am, Ross kicked off again and had to be put in leg restraints.

Defence agent Laura MacFarlane said the incident had been a “cry for help” and had occurred because of Sly’s deteriorating mental health.

He had stopped taking prescribed medication and instead had turned to alcohol. In the weeks preceding the stand-off, he had sought help in relation to suicidal thoughts.

Ms MacFarlane said: “He does accept full responsibility for his actions despite being intoxicated at the time. It may have been a cry for help from him in relation to his mental health but he realises how alarming it would have been for all involved.

“Since his incarceration he has been back on his medication and is presenting better than he did when he appeared first. He has been getting support relating to his mental health.”

The lawyer said it was the first time Sly had been in trouble for seven years and he deeply regretted it.

She added: “In my submission, Mr Sly would benefit from the support of social workers in relation to his mental health and alcohol intake and he would comply with any community based disposal.”

But Sheriff Chris Dickson said a custodial sentence was appropriate because of the seriousness of the offence and Sly’s past criminal record which involved convictions related to weapons.

The sheriff  backdated the sentence to April 23.

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