Teenager uses fake gun to get out of £9 cab fare

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A TEENAGER pointed an imitation gun at a taxi driver to weasel out of paying a £9 fare.

David Arnott, 19, from Linlithgow, took a cab with two friends from South Bridge in Edinburgh to the Craigour area of the city on 15 May last year.

When the taxi reached its destination he jumped out and proceeded to pull out a fake gun – which the driver, William Simpson, believed to be real – and forced him to unlock the car doors to let his friends out.

At Edinburgh Sheriff Court today (Tue), Arnott pled guilty to intending not the pay the fare and to pointing an imitation firearm at the driver.

He also admitted intent to pervert the course of justice by asking a friend to hide the toy gun for him.

Fiscal depute Melanie Ward said: “The accused hailed a taxi at around midnight with two other people.

“The driver was told to go to the Moredun area but that was changed to Craigour Green at some point during the journey.

“During this time someone in the car received a phone call from someone at the destination saying they would pay for the taxi fare.

“They arrived at around 12.15am and the accused got out of the c but the other two were still inside.

“The accused removed an imitation firearm and pointed it at Mr Simpson – he wanted the taxi driver to open the doors to the taxi.

“Mr Simspon did not know the gun was fake and he was very alarmed at what was happening to him so he allowed them to leave.

“He didn’t contact the police immediately but when he returned home he was very shaken and a family member persuaded him to speak to police.

“The accused then handed the gun over to another friend to try and cover up the incident.

“It was detected by police and has been described as a black pistol.”

Jacqueline McColl, Arnott’s defence solicitor, said: “Mr Arnott understands the process and the sentence he is likely to face.”

She advised Sheriff Elizabeth Jarvie to obtain a social inquiry report and a community service report.

Sheriff Jarvie said: “This is pretty serious.

“I think you are aware of that now.”

She deferred sentence for three weeks until 25 February to see the reports.

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