A thug sparked a major police response after threatening a council worker with a samurai sword because he couldn’t fix his boiler.
Armed police units descended on Leith Walk last December after Clark Smith, 28, threatened electrician Iain MacLean with the blade, described as an “ornament”.
A sheriff today jailed Smith for 32 months who pleaded guilty to the offence at Dundee Sheriff Court.
It was revealed that an arrangement was made by Smith’s mother for Mr MacLean to attend just after 10am to sort the timer on the boiler.
Mr MacLean said a gas worker was required to attend which led to him arguing with Smith who felt Mr MacLean could fix it.
The court heard Smith came so close to Mr MacLean’s face that spit landed on him. Smith said: “You’ve got an attitude problem.”
Mr MacLean left the flat telling Smith to “get a grip” before going downstairs. He then returning to the block to see Smith clutching the sword in the common close.
Depute fiscal Charmaine Gilmartin said: “He saw the accused in the close with a samurai sword under his left arm and screamed at him.
“Another person saw him in possession of the sword saying ‘run, run, ******* run, get back’
“A neighbour noticed the complainer was pale, shaking and scared.
“The accused was seen by another neighbour go into his property. When he asked the accused what happened, he said the complainer had come out to repair the boiler and said he couldn’t fix it.”
A firearms incident was declared with armed officers, negotiators, ambulance and fire crews called out to attend with Smith giving himself up to police just before 3pm.
Smith, a prisoner of HMP Perth, pleaded guilty to behaving in a threatening or abusive manner by placing his head in close proximity to the head of Iain MacLean in an intimidating manner and breathing on him as well as shouting and swearing at him and presenting a samurai sword at him.
Solicitor Anne Duffy said Smith spent lengthy periods in hospital last year after being the victim of a hit and run and continues to suffer multiple complications.
She said Smith developed sepsis and still has to undergo heart surgery.
Mrs Duffy said that after his most recent release from Ninewells Hospital, the heating in Smith’s flat was not working and that her client was “extremely upset” at Mr MacLean’s attitude to the problem.
She added that it was Smith’s belief that Mr MacLean left the flat to get “tooled up” for a fight.
Mrs Duffy said: “The complainer went out to the van at this point, he returns and an altercation takes place and he believed at that time the complainer had returned with a weapon, or as he advised, tooled up.
“He accepts he took the ornament, it was never unsheathed. He had raised it showing him what he had rather than brandishing or waving it.
“His primary motive was to get him away from the property. He made the wrong choice on that day and I accept that.”
Sheriff Alastair Brown said: “Mr MacLean was employed by a public authority, doing a job which delivered a service which that public authority as your landlord is obligated to deliver to you.
“Mr MacLean does not get any choice about whose homes he visits. No doubt some people greet him with a cup of tea and a biscuit and are polite to him even if he can’t fix it himself.
“It seems to me that the sentencing purposes which are relevant here are punishment, deterrence and the expression of the court’s and the public’s disapproval of any householder who subjects a person who is just trying to do their job to this kind of behaviour.”