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Sentencing of teenage gunman deferred

Samuel Barlow at Westerloch Drive shortly before being arrested - Photo: Austin Taylor

THE sentencing of a teenage gunman who sparked a major police incident in Shetland last September has been deferred until next month.

Lerwick Sheriff Court heard on Wednesday morning that a psychiatric report on 16-year old Samuel Barlow was not yet available.

An application for him to be released on bail was refused by Sheriff Philip Mann.

The teenager was arrested after aiming an air rifle at local people and police officers during a stand off at Lerwick’s Westerloch area on 23 September, and has since been held in the Polmont young offenders institution.

At the height of the incident firearms officers from Inverness were flown to Shetland to support the local force.

The court was told at an earlier hearing that Barlow came very close to being shot by officers.

Barlow pled guilty to four assault charges and one of behaving in an abusive and threatening manner.

On Wednesday, defence solicitor Tommy Allan said that psychiatric assessment requested by the court was unfortunately not available.

He added that this was no fault of Barlow but was due to the personal circumstances of the doctor tasked with assessing him.

Sheriff Philip Mann said releasing Barlow on bail was “not appropriate” given the seriousness of the offence that could have easily ended up at a higher court.

“I don’t want to raise any false hopes here, as a custodial sentence is very much on my mind, and I need to be persuaded of any alternatives,” he said. “The best option is to defer further and for you to remain in custody meantime.”

Barlow is due to appear again on 4 February.