Ex-soldier’s AK-47 threat to siege cops

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A FORMER soldier who threatened to shoot armed police with an AK-47 rifle in a two-hour siege has appeared in court.

Mark Brown, 41, of Viewcraig Gardens, was ordered to perform 200 hours of unpaid work and undergo alcohol counselling, as well as being placed on a 12-month Community Pay Back Order at Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday, for the incident in October.

At 11pm on October 18, Brown phoned the ambulance service and told them he was going to cut his wrists.

The service contacted the police and officers were sent to Brown’s flat where they spoke to him through a window.

Fiscal Depute Robert Freeland said Brown was very aggressive. He refused to open the door when requested and officers – looking through the letter box – could see he had a metal object in his hand. It later turned out to be a knife sharpener.

Firearms officers and a dog handler were called in and police decided to force entry to the flat when Brown continued to threaten to self-harm.

Mr Freeland said: “He got more and more agitated.

“At about one o’clock he started to threaten police officers that he was going to shoot them and the dog with an AK-47 rifle and brandished two knives through the door.”

The officers managed to persuade him to open the door and arrested him.

They found a third knife and the sharpener, but no gun.

Mr Freeland told the court that the police said Brown appeared to be suffering from a mental illness.

Appearing for Brown at the initial hearing, defence agent Gillian Taylor said he suffered from both anxiety and depression.

She said: “He tells me it was the anniversary of the death seven years ago of one of his colleagues who was in the same regiment.”

Sheriff Roderick Macleod told Brown he had caused a great deal of inconvenience and extensive resources had been deployed with police officers and paramedics involved.

Brown had previously pleaded guilty to threatening to shoot, stab and kill police officers, and a police dog, and to brandishing knives at the officers.