Fife pensioner found guilty of aiming firearm at cabbie

A pensioner who pointed a revolver at a taxi driver has been convicted of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner and being in possession of a deactivated revolver without lawful authority. 

74 year old Thomas McCabe, from Greengates, Leven, on Fife,  was caught by police with a Rossi revolver inside the waistband of his trousers a few hours after pointing the gun at taxi driver, William Begbie.

Former soldier, McCabe, who denied the charges, was convicted at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court. 

The court  heard how the incident took place in McCabes living room on May 26 2017, after Begbie had entered the property with McCabe to obtain payment for a taxi fare however, he was left “shaken and distressed” after having a deactivated gun pointed at him.

The police were subsequently contacted by Begbie, and McCabe was then arrested  after police carried out a search of his home and found the handgun tucked into his wastband.

McCabe then  claimed that he was taking the gun claimed he was taking the gun to a potential buyer. Giving evidence, McCabe claimed that Begbie was staring at a deactivated  AK47 assault rifle, which was mounted on his wall. 

McCabe then claimed that Begbie asked if it was real, to which McCabe said he replied "no."

McCabe then said that he offered to show Begbie the handgun, and showed him that the revolver had also been deactivated.

He then claimed that Begbie was quite happy and he left. 

He went on to describe Begbie as a wannabe, and a fantasist after the cabbie was alleged to have said that he had been in the RAF. 

According to The Courier defence solicitor Mary Walker urged the sheriff to acquit her client, arguing that Mr Begbie was a “Walter Mitty”  character, and cast doubt on his version of events after Begbie failed to inform the police immediately. Sheriff Alison McKay rejecting the defences' version of events, deferred sentence for background reports. 

McCabe, who served nine years with the parachute regiment, will reappear at the court in April.

Image: M J Richardson

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