Man who threatened to find and kill sheriff given three year jail sentence
At Airdrie Sheriff Court today, Sheriff Richard Clark sentenced Thomas Rundell to three years and two months imprisonment after the accused pled guilty to threatening to kill Sheriff Nikola Stewart at Lanark Sheriff Court.
On sentencing, Sheriff Clark said: “Thomas Rundell, you have tendered a plea of guilty to a charge contrary to Section 38(1) of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 for behaving in a threatening or abusive manner which was likely to cause a reasonable person to suffer fear or alarm.”
He added that Mr Rundell did this by swearing and shouting repeatedly both in Lanark Sheriff Court, in Sheriff Stewart’s presence, and in the cells, that he would kill her.
Sheriff Clark added: “Your initial use of language was in itself both highly offensive and demonstrated a total disregard for the court in which you were appearing a court at the time, open to members of the public who would have witnessed your behaviour. Moreover it was directed at the Sheriff personally.”
The judge went on to note that Mr Rundell swore on his father’s grave that he would find and kill Sheriff Stewart and that he would “get a shotgun and blow her head off and to seek her out and get her in the car park”.
He referred to Mr Rundell’s “appalling record” which includes convictions for assault, severe injury and impairment of life as well as others.
Sheriff Clark concluded: “I am satisfied that the threats that you made were threats which indeed carried the full weight of the menace which you intended at the time and would certainly have caused significant fear and alarm as a result. Whatever the circumstances in your personal and family life were at the time in no way explains or mitigates your behaviour.
“Your behaviour that day was disgraceful, threatening and swearing at the Sheriff directing your threats at her directly, a member of the judiciary who was carrying out judicial business.
“I am satisfied that only a custodial sentence is the appropriate disposal and that, given your record and the circumstances here, that significant sentence is called for. You will serve a sentence of 48 months which will be discounted to 38 months to take account of your plea tendered today which will be back dated to the 9th February 2015.”