A CLYDEBANK carer who drunkenly wanted to prank his friend by removing his letterbox with a knife has avoided prison.

Liam Maclaren, of Vanguard Street, was caught on CCTV footage with a knife in a lift at Duncombe View on July 5, 2020.

Fiscal depute Abigail McKenna told Dumbarton Sheriff Court on October 12 that the 25-year-old was caught in possession of a weapon in CCTV footage.

At around 5.45am CCTV operators at Clydebank police station observed Maclaren to enter the lift. He was observed spinning the knife around in his right hand.

At 5.50am police attended and searched each floor, staircase and lift in the building, obtained a still image from the CCTV footage and traced Maclaren.

His defence solicitor said: “He was doing a prank on is friend where he was due to attempt to remove a letterbox from his door. It is very much alcohol fuelled on this occasion. He is ashamed of his behaviour and understands the consequences.

“He is a carer for his mother in which a lot of time is taken up caring for her. He is old enough to know better.

“He suffers severe depression and anxiety, but he doesn’t engage with his GP.”

Sheriff Simon Fraser asked if a formal diagnosis had ever been made in regards to Maclaren’s mental health.

His defence replied: “In terms of the report there is a lack of engagement with his GP.”

The sheriff said: “I am not particularly impressed as that for an excuse wouldn’t work. There is no diagnosis, but manages to drink and take drugs. He has clearly crossed the line.”

Addressing Maclaren the sheriff said: “So you care for your mum? Strange way of doing that wandering around at quarter to six in the morning drunk with a knife.

“I started as a sheriff in this court room in 1989, throughout the 1990s the sheriffs in this court regularly jailed people like you wandering around Clydebank with bladed weapons. I can understand why times have changed.

“You are going to suffer punishment for this. I am not impressed with the excuse of mental health. You don’t cooperate with your GP. You don’t go and see them.”

Maclaren was handed a community payback order (CPO) for one year under the supervision of social workers and was ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid work in the community.

He will also be required to attend a drug and alcohol abuse course.