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.

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.

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Taylor Wimpey have confirmed directly with local Councillor Nathan Wilson that the organisation retains its commitment to building a park and ride at Shieldmuir Train Station. In response to recent enquiries made by Councillor Wilson, Taylor Wimpey have advised that engagement is taking place with Network Rail over the latter’s approval procedures and that once this process is complete, work will be able to begin on site. The developer has informed the Motherwell Councillor that during the period of investigation undertaken since the commencement of building work was delayed in January 2018, an unrecorded service chamber has been discovered on site. The project cannot move forward until further clarification is provided on the nature of the service chamber and Taylor Wimpey are in the process of commissioning a contractor to assess the situation. The developer’s initial judgement is that this is likely a redundant service. A senior representative of the organisation has also informed Councillor Wilson that a member of the Taylor Wimpey production team will be sent out to inspect the vacant land following a request he made at the beginning of 2019 for maintenance work to be carried out on site should construction of the park and ride remain some time away. Councillor Nathan Wilson said: “Taylor Wimpey have communicated to me directly that the park and ride facility is a project that the organisation remains committed to delivering. “However, it goes without saying that the lengthy delay is still very disappointing and frustrating. “An unrecorded service chamber has been identified on site and progress is unable to be made until this has been investigated. “Taylor Wimpey have relayed to me that an on-site inspection of the vacant land will take place and I hold to the view that maintenance work should be carried out in the short term to improve it’s current condition. “I will continue to engage with the relevant stakeholders and re-inforce to them the importance of the park and ride project locally. Motherwell and Wishaw CAB takes home 40 per cent of the prizes