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Man tasered three times following armed stand-off with police on Holburn Street

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A man has been jailed after an “utterly terrifying” armed stand-off with police in Aberdeen, in which he was tasered three times.

Scott Clark, 30, “charged” at a police vehicle while armed with a knife and smeared blood on the window while petrified officers inside called for help.

Four officers with tasers arrived, among other support, and a large cordon was created around Clark in the Holburn Street area, and when he made a sudden movement towards officers it took three taser shots to bring him down.

Fiscal depute Colin Neilson told Aberdeen Sheriff Court Clark was initially spotted acting suspiciously near a police car parked outside Whinhill Police Station at 2.25am on August 23, before officers noticed he had slashed a tyre.

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Mr Neilson went on: “At around 2.30am on the same day, police officers were sitting in a stationary marked police car on Holburn Street when they saw the accused. He was carrying a large knife in his right hand and holding it up to his neck.

“Without hesitation or warning the accused ran towards the stationary police car with the officers sitting inside.

“He tried to open the front passenger door where a female constable was sitting. She held the door shut, while the constable in the driver’s seat managed to lock the vehicle, securing them within.

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“On realising he was unable to gain entry, the accused repeatedly struck the nearside front passenger window of the vehicle with the butt of the knife while hysterically screaming ‘come on then’.

“He smeared some of his blood from a cut on the car window.

“The officers called for help. Other officers arrived who were authorised with taser firearms.

“They drew their weapons in an effort to negotiate and contain the accused.

“The accused initially refused to engage with them. Four officers arrived in total all armed with tasers.

“Due to the nature of the incident, various police units attended and installed a large cordon to prevent any danger to members of the public.

“The accused continued to hold the knife to his throat while attempting to occasionally move from where he was north along Holburn Street in the direction of the city centre.

“While standing outside Tesco Express the accused, without provocation, moved quickly towards two officers saying ‘you’re just going to have to do it’.

“An officer discharges his taser at the accused which was ineffective. A second officer then discharged his taser which was again ineffective on the accused.

“The first officer then discharged his second cartridge which immediately took effect and the accused fell backwards to the pavement, dropping the large knife in his hand.

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“The accused was immediately handcuffed and given suitable aftercare.”

Clark, a prisoner of HMP Grampian, pled guilty to behaving in a threatening or abusive manner, as well as possession of a knife in public and vandalism.

Defence lawyer David Sutherland said his client had kept out of trouble more than six years since being released from a previous prison sentence and had obtained employment and accommodation.

He added: “What undermined all of that was a combination of underlying mental health issues exacerbated by the pandemic.”

The solicitor said Clark had been diagnosed as suffering from depression, adding: “That appears to be what came to the fore in August, exacerbated by my client’s consumption of alcohol.”

Sheriff William Summers told Clark, who appeared via a video link from prison: “I was able to read the social work report and I have listened to what Mr Sutherland has said on your behalf.

“I recognise in particular this incident took place against the backdrop of underlying mental health issues.

“I also have to have regard to the gravity of the offence, charging at a police car, trying to get into the car while armed with a knife, then being involved in an armed stand-off with police, still armed with the knife and having to be tasered three times.

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“That must have been utterly terrifying for the police officers involved and any members of the public who witnesses it.

“There is no appropriate alternative to the imposition of a custodial sentence.”

He ordered Clark to be jailed for 22 months.

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