Pensioner handed curfew after conviction for pointing imitation firearm at taxi driver

A pensioner from Fife who pointed an imitation firearm at a distressed taxi driver has been placed on a curfew. 74-year-old Thomas McCabe, from 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 in March 2019 and received sentencing this week. 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 the taxi driver was a “Walter Mitty”  character, and cast doubt on his version of events after Begbie failed to inform the police immediately. Sheriff Alison McKay however rejected the defences' version of events. McCabe, who served nine years with the parachute regiment, was placed on a restriction of liberty order for six months which requires him to wear an electronic tag. McCabe was convicted after trial of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner by presenting an imitation firearm at Mr Begbie and possessing a deactivated revolver without lawful authority or reasonable excuse.  

Image Author: M J Richardson

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