Jan 27 2012 by Stephen Robertson, Stirling Observer Friday
A BOOZED-up 16-year-old who had been downing Buckfast went berserk and smashed a piece of wood over his own head during a flashpoint in Stirling.
Marcus Marshall was first captured on CCTV brandishing the item at others in Douglas Street at around 9.30pm on June 11 last year.
Stirling Sheriff Court heard on Wednesday how the incident escalated.
The fiscal depute said: “The accused was seen to shout aggressively at two unidentified males and swing a piece of wood in an intimidating manner.
“The accused was seen repeatedly banging the piece of wood on his own head while walking towards the two unidentified males.
“At one point, the accused’s piece of wood broke in half while he was banging it on his forehead.
“After that, the accused was seen to punch the air wildly and continue to shout whilst being held back by a witness.”
The court was told that one of the unidentified males also had a piece of wood during the incident.
Less than three weeks later, however, the court heard that Marshall lost his head again, this time at a playpark at Cultenhove Road, Stirling, at around 7.25pm on July 1.
Police had been in the area in relation to another matter and on later speaking to Marshall, who was drunk, he became “volatile” and “began reacting to the comments of his peers who were with him”.
Police said that they would take him home but Marshall refused and instead began making threats towards onlookers.
The fiscal depute said: “The accused was put within the police vehicle and from within the vehicle said ‘I’m going to f****** kill you’ and made a gesture towards a member of the crowd that he would slash their throat.”
Marshall was warned about his behaviour and on being told by police that they were taking him home, he replied: “If you take me to Hillpark I’ll go out and stab someone”.
By now police had heard enough and arrested him.
Marshall had previously pleaded guilty to the June breach of the peace and to a charge of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner relating to the July offence.
Both matters had previously been deferred for Marshall to be of good behaviour.
On Wednesday, the court was told that the 16-year-old had stayed out of bother since.
Solicitor Frazer McCready said that Marshall had a stage in his life last summer “where he was going off the rails, drinking to excess and getting into trouble”.
In relation to the June offence, Mr McCready said: “He had consumed Buckfast tonic wine.
“He tells me that there was an incident shortly before he was seen with the piece of wood and he was threatened by a stranger.”
The court heard that Marshall apparently explained to police afterwards: “I’ve been approached by a stranger threatening to stab me. I basically went off my nut to scare him away”.
Mr McCready said: “Rather than taking flight, which he should have done, he has picked up the piece of wood and was seen on CCTV gesticulating with it.”
As regards the July incident, Mr McCready said that Marshall had been drinking to excess that day and had reacted as described in court earlier.
The solicitor added that Marshall had since reduced his drinking and had managed to stay out of trouble.
After considering the matter, Sheriff Wyllie Robertson told Marshall: “You are only 16 and there is no record before me but you seem to have gone off the rails rather badly and made a spectacle and a fool of yourself on two separate occasions.
“First, when you were brandishing a piece of wood. The potential for some public disorder to break out as a result of that is obvious.
“I note that you have been of good behaviour since the court deferred these matters. I want to see that over an extended period.”
Sheriff Robertson then deferred sentence on both matters for a further six months for Marshall to remain of good behaviour.
Marshall, of Davidson Street, Bannockburn, will appear again on July 25.