Takeaway gun charges thrown out by jury

Kevin O'Pray was cleared of gun charges by a jury at Hamilton Sheriff Court.

Kevin O'Pray was cleared of gun charges by a jury at Hamilton Sheriff Court.

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A man has been cleared of threatening staff with a gun during a disturbance at an Indian takeaway in Holytown.

However, Kevin O’Pray was jailed for 16 months when he admitted trying to set a dog on the employees and assaulting a man in a separate incident.

O’Pray (22), a prisoner, told a jury at Hamilton Sheriff Court he wasn’t proud of his behaviour but denied strongly any suggestion he was armed with a gun.

The court heard he followed his sister’s dog which had run through the back door of the takeaway into the kitchen.

An argument broke out and O’Pray claimed a member of staff kicked the dog, an allegation that was denied.

O’Pray was accused of presenting a real or imitation firearm at Javeek Akhtar and Ali Ashraf on April 7, causing them to fear that they would be shot. They claimed he pointed the weapon at their heads. However, the jury returned not guilty verdicts.

O’Pray admitted damaging a door, shouting abuse and threatening to kill the employees. He also admitted punching James O’Neill, shouting threats and damaging a letterbox in nearby Sunnyside Crescent later that day.

Mr O’Neill said O’Pray threatened to shoot him, but didn’t have a gun.

Defence agent Tom Watters said the latter incident showed his client was prone to make “idle threats” which was exactly what he’d done at the takeaway. He had no gun there either.