Teen who shot kids in sentence delay for holiday

Sheriff Isobella McColl deferred sentence again. Picture: Greg Macvean
Sheriff Isobella McColl deferred sentence again. Picture: Greg Macvean
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A PRIVATE schoolboy who admitted shooting young children with a BB gun has had his sentence deferred for the second time - as it emerged he is going on holiday to Fiji.

Jack Hewitt, 17, fired at the youngsters as they enjoyed a break in the grounds of an Edinburgh primary school last May.

The former pupil at £10,000 a year George Watson’s College, pled guilty to the shooting and claimed he had been “letting off steam” after taking his higher exams.

Sheriff Isobella McColl decided in January this year to defer sentence for six months to see if he could keep out of trouble while dealing with the pressure of his impending Highers.

Today at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, Sheriff McColl said the boy’s actions were “very, very foolish”.

But she deferred sentence for a second time, saying it would be “premature”.

The judge said she would sentence Hewitt in six months’ time. But after learning from his defence lawyer, Peter Winning, that Hewitt is going to Fiji for three months in September, she extended that to seven months.

The Scottish Tories immediately criticised the decision, saying it sent out the “wrong message” to the public.

The party’s justice spokeswoman, Margaret Mitchell MSP, said: “This latest deferral sends out completely the wrong message.

“The public will be mystified and alarmed that there has still not been an official sentence handed down for the crime committed.

“The parents of children who suffered as a result of this incident will also rightly be angered by a further delay.

“Rather than allowing a gap year holiday in Fiji, the Criminal Justice System should be dealing with this case, as opposed to bending over backwards to accommodate the perpetrator.”

Hewitt, who has left Watson’s, is taking a gap year, part of which involves travelling to the South Pacific.

The prolific social media user recently revealed he had been on holiday in Lanzarote, and was at T in The Park at the weekend.

In December last year Hewitt pled guilty to “culpably and recklessly discharging a firearm”.

He shot at and hit a group of young children who were playing in the grounds of Gilmerton Primary School during their lunch break.

Several of the children - who were all in primary four and five - were hit. One girl was struck on the forehead and another was hit just below the eye.

A number of the children were left with red marks and bruising after they were hit in the arms, legs, stomach and head.

One parent described the January decision to defer sentence as a “joke”.

At the hearing earlier this year, the court was told that Hewitt had accepted responsibility for his actions.

Police visited Hewitt’s home following the incident last year.

Officers said that a tearful Hewitt had admitted opening fire from the bathroom window but was unable to explain why he had done something “so stupid.”

Hewitt told the police at the station: “That was me. I was just letting off some steam. I’ll never do it again.”