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Man threatened to blow up street and kill police officers

Kenneth Douglas was armed with an axe during the siege in Alyth, Perth and Kinross.

Alyth: Hurled an axe at police officers.
Alyth: Hurled an axe at police officers. Google 2018

A man threatened to blow up his street and murder police officers in a seven-hour siege.

Kenneth Douglas was armed with an axe and two knives during the standoff and threatened to blow up a row of flats in Alyth, Perth and Kinross.

The 36-year-old hurled an axe at police officers who set up a cordon and nearby homes had to be evacuated when Douglas warned he was about to ignite the gas supply.

Firearms officers and negotiators were called to the siege which was prompted by a long-running feud between Douglas and his downstairs neighbours.

Fiscal depute John Malpass said: "There had been a previous dispute between the accused and his neighbours.

"The neighbours lodged an excessive noise complaint.

"Two or three hours after the initial call other neighbours observed him in the High Street throwing items at a parked vehicle."

Douglas threw a bench and a wheelie bin at a woman who was his neighbour before smashing the windows of another car with an axe.

Police turned up shortly after 3pm to find Douglas had returned to his own home, where he was drunk, shouting incoherently and playing loud music.

Mr Malpass said: "It was clear he was agitated and heavily under the influence. He was holding two knives."

'It was clear he was agitated and heavily under the influence. He was holding two knives.'
Fiscal depute John Malpass

Douglas told the officers he was going to stab them and kill them with a hammer.

He then informed them he had turned on the gas supply and was going to blow the street up.

He knocked out a window and cut both his hands by punching it with his bare fists as he continued to threaten the officers who had called for armed back-up.

Douglas smeared blood on his head and body and told armed officers and negotiators he had knives and axes and would use them on anyone who entered the flat.

Mr Malpass added: "He said he was going to set everyone on fire and blow everyone up as he had turned the gas up.

"All properties were evacuated, causing a major disturbance to the community."

Douglas threw an axe which narrowly missed the officers manning the cordon and was then seen to swig from a mystery bottle of medication.

He appeared to become drowsy and when he failed to engage with the police for a lengthy period they decided to storm the property over fears for his welfare.

Mr Malpass said: "As they entered the address it was apparent he had barricaded himself in a room.

"A pyrotechnic distraction device was deployed into the room through a small gap in the door.

"He was confused by the device and officers were able to get the accused under control without too much trouble."

'He said he was going to set everyone on fire and blow everyone up as he had turned the gas up.'
Fiscal depute John Malpass

He said he was unaware of the cost to the public purse of manning the siege, which was eventually brought to an end at 10.15pm.

Douglas, of Alyth, admitted brandishing an axe on the town's High Street and acting in a threatening or abusive manner by damaging cars on December 6.

He also admitted throwing an axe at police, threatening to kill officers and blow up the building, and arming himself with knives during a siege at his home.

Sheriff Lindsay Foulis deferred sentence for reports and Douglas, who made no motion for bail, was remanded in custody.

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