A drug dealer who used a samurai sword to scare off a robber trying to steal his stash avoided being sent to prison.
Greig Gilmour chased the thief from his home before going back inside to get the fearsome “katana” longsword, traditionally worn by samurai warriors from the 15th century onwards.
Gilmour (32) then made the mistake of stepping out of his home into High Street, Linlithgow – a public place.
A neighbour, who had witnessed the two men arguing, called the police as soon as he saw the weapon being produced, Livingston Sheriff Court was told.
Katrine Craig, prosecuting, said: “He saw the accused go into the building and emerge holding what he described as ‘a Japanese-style blade’ in his hand.
“At this time the witness was sufficiently concerned to call the police and report the matter to them.”
The sword, with a blade around half a metre long, was produced in court.
Mrs Craig told the court police had found £1030 in cash and an estimated £3000 worth of heroin when they searched Gilmour’s home earlier.
As officers were preparing to raid the house, she said, they stopped a man approaching the property who told them he was going to see Gilmour to get a bag of heroin.
They then recovered 12 bags of brown powder, a quantity of money bags, a notepad with names on it and a mobile phone as well as the cash.
Gilmour pleaded guilty to having “an article which had a blade or was sharply pointed” in a public place on Saturday, July 16 last year.
However, his not guilty plea to assaulting the alleged robber Martin Clark by sitting astride him, seizing him by the throat and holding the sword against his neck to his injury was accepted by the prosecution.
Gilmour also pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of the Class A drug heroin on March 31 this year. He admitted he had a previous conviction for drug dealing.
Iain Smith, defending, revealed that the other male involved in the sword incident had tried to rob Gilmour of drugs and money.
He said the man had tried to get back into his client’s house, but Gilmour had stepped out and held the sword in his hand in a public place.
Mr Smith added: “The blade itself is blunt but it was pointed, which falls under the items covered by the statute.”
He claimed the drug dealing, although commercial, had only involved selling to a limited number of friends.
“At the time Mr Gilmour was a heavy user of heroin, as was his partner,” he explained.
Sheriff Peter Grant Hutchison ordered confiscation of Gilmour’s cash under proceeds of crime and made him subject to drug treatment and testing order (DTTO) for 18 months.
He deferred sentence on the samurai charge for four months as “an incentive” for Gilmour to comply with the DTTO and free himself from drug abuse.
He warned: “If it comes to the attention of the court that you’re not actually trying to comply with the order I’m sure whoever is dealing with it will take a very dim view.”