Edinburgh man caused National Museum of Scotland evacuation after activating alarm and dialing 999 for no good reason

An Edinburgh man caused the National Museum of Scotland to be evacuated after making a malicious call to the fire service.

Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 5:06 pm
Updated Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 5:06 pm
The National Museum of Scotland.
The National Museum of Scotland.

Jamie Mushat, 36, activated a fire alarm and phoned 999 to claim there was an ongoing blaze at the popular tourist attraction in August 2019.

Two fire appliances raced to the scene and hundreds of staff and visitors to the museum were forced to evacuate the building as a precaution.

Following a search of the museum it became apparent there was no fire and following a review of the CCTV system it was found Mushat had activated the alarm with no good reason.

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Police eventually traced Mushat to his home address three months later and he was later arrested and charged with two offences.

Mushat appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Tuesday where he pleaded guilty to maliciously smashing the glass and activating the fire alarm and phoning the fire service for the purposes of causing annoyance or inconvenience.

Prosecutor Jennifer McLean told the court Mushat was spotted entering the city centre museum and making his way to the third floor balcony at around 11.10am on August 14, 2019.

Ms McLean said: “He loitered around the fire alarm for a few minutes. He then broke the glass and activated the alarm.

“There was no fire or any emergency requiring the fire alarm activation.

“The accused then phoned the fire service to report a fire.”

The fiscal added two fire appliances attended the scene and the whole museum had to be evacuated due to the malicious call made by Mushat.

Mushat was subsequently identified from the museum’s CCTV and police eventually traced him to his home address where he told them he was “under the care of social services” and had to have a responsible adult in attendance for him to be arrested.

Police officers did not arrest Mushat, of Hailesland Park in Edinburgh, at that time but informed him he would be reported on a summons.

Solicitor Gordon Stewart, defending, said his client had an “underlying background” and had recently been diagnosed with autism.

Sheriff Peter McCormack deferred sentence to next month for reports and a restriction of liberty order assessment to be prepared.

Mushat pleaded guilty to maliciously smashing glass on a fire alarm at the National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh, on August 14, 2019.

He also admitted to telephoning the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service for the purposes of causing annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety and claiming there was a fire at the museum on the same date.