Tayside and Central Scotland

Man remanded for 1996 gun incident

A man who fired a gun outside a village pub during an argument in 1996 has admitted the offence in court 20 years after fleeing Scotland.

Paul Hill fled to England and lived in Ireland and the Channel Islands after the incident outside the Falls of Dochart Inn in Killin.

The 42-year-old handed himself into police last year.

A sheriff remanded him in custody ahead of his next court appearance on 30 November.

The court heard Hill had been released on bail in February this year following his arrest and took a job managing the same pub at which the offence had taken place.

'Really wound up'

Ashley Edwards, QC, prosecuting, said Hill had been out for an evening with his parents, his sister, and a friend in January 1996.

Miss Edwards said an altercation started between Hill's father and another man.

Witness Crichton Davies told Hill, whom he described as "really wound up", to go home but Hill began to struggle with him

The lawyer said: "During the struggle with Mr Davies, the accused produced a small handgun, and discharged it into the air."

Second gunshot

Hill fired the gun in the air a second time as Mr Davies tried to free the weapon from his grasp.

The gun was never recovered, but Hill handed himself in to police the next day.

He was charged with attempted murder and released on bail but failed to appear for trial in 1997 and has evaded arrested ever since.

At the High Court in Stirling on Monday, Hill, of Killin, Perthshire, admitted struggling with Mr Davies, and recklessly discharging the gun.

He also admitted failing to appear for a hearing at the High Court in Glasgow in February 1997, and fleeing from home, all to evade and avoid detection and arrest.

Brian McConnachie QC, defending, described the case as "particularly peculiar".

He said: "I think it's fair to say that had Mr Hill been in some sort of trouble, the police would have found him, but it seems reasonably clear that no-one was actively seeking him at that time."

Judge Lord Ericht told Hill: "Given the nature of the offence, involving a firearm, and your failure to appear, I refuse the application for bail."

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