Glasgow & West Scotland

John Spence and Iain MacKenzie fined over smoke bomb pranks

Two businessmen who let off smoke bombs in WH Smith branches in Glasgow have been fined £2,000 each and branded "astonishingly stupid" and "eejits".

John Spence, 50, and business partner Iain MacKenzie, 45, targeted the stores on 28 and 29 June last year.

The shops in Sauchiehall Street and Central Station had to be evacuated and the fire service called in.

At Glasgow Sheriff Court, MacKenzie and Spence admitted two charges of breach of the peace.

They were also ordered to pay £500 compensation to WH Smith.

CCTV footage

The court heard that Spence, from Bothwell Street, Glasgow, and MacKenzie, from Bothwell, South Lanarkshire, run a number of car parks in Scotland and England - with a seven figure turnover.

The pair were caught after being spotted acting oddly on CCTV footage taken in the shops.

Spence's home was later searched and an invoice for drain tester smokes pellets was found.

The pellets were identical to the items recovered in both shops.

Police later discovered that Spence had sent text messages to MacKenzie saying it would be "hysterical" to "target WHS".

'Fear and alarm'

Fining both men, Sheriff Alayne Swanson told them: "I'm sure you understand how incredible this behaviour was coming from two businessmen like yourself.

"It's really quite an astonishingly stupid course of action and it's something that has clearly disrupted business and I am sure caused fear and alarm at the time."

Defence QC Gordon Jackson, for Spence, told the court: "I can offer no explanation for that other than sheer stupidity.

"They thought it was extremely funny although to be fair to them they certainly don't think it's funny anymore."

Mr Jackson added: "They decided to act like pure and utter eejits and did what they did."

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