Gunman pointed loaded pistol at club bouncers in busy street

Francis Smith admitted having a gun outside Nico's in Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow.

Francis Smith was caught on camera pointing a gun at two men outside Nico's in Sauchiehall Street..
Francis Smith was caught on camera pointing a gun at two men outside Nico's in Sauchiehall Street..

A gunman admitted pointing a loaded pistol at two bouncers in a busy Glasgow street.

At the High Court in Glasgow, 32-year-old Francis Smith pleaded guilty to pulling the weapon – a Slovakian manufactured Grand Power self-loading pistol – on Benjamin Bibby and Stewart Edwards at Nico’s in Sauchiehall Street on December 21, last year.

He also admitted two contraventions of the firearms act.

Prosecutor Angela Gray told the court that minutes earlier there was an incident in which Smith was allegedly assaulted outside the bar.

She said: “The accused shouted ‘I’m going to get a gun and shoot you’. The threat was not taken seriously.”

The court was shown a video of Smith, who was wearing a red baseball cap,  returning minutes later armed with a gun.

He had grabbed the handgun which he kept wrapped in a towel in a chest of drawers in his room at the Blue Triangle accommodation in nearby Holland Street, Glasgow and headed back to the bar.

Ms Gray said: “Given that it was the week of Christmas, Sauchiehall Street was busy with pedestrians.

“As the accused approached Nico’s bar he was holding the handgun.

“Someone in the vicinity shouted ‘gun’ as a warning. With his arm outstretched the accused pointed the handgun towards Mr Bibby and Mr Edwards.

“Benjamin Bibby immediately approached the accused and began to wrestle the handgun from him. He was assisted by Mr Edwards and another door steward.

“The accused was disarmed and restrained on the ground until police arrived.”

Police searched Smith’s room and found a single bulleted cartridge on the floor, five cartridges in a money tin and a further five inside a knotted latex glove.

When the gun was pointed at two bouncers there was a live cartridge in the magazine and when it was first examined by firearms officers the safety catch was off.

The gun was found to be in good working order and capable of discharging bulleted cartridges.

Ms Gray added: “All the bulleted cartridges recovered from the accused’s address were also apparently live and suitable for use with the handgun.”

Smith has no criminal convictions of note. His record relates only to drinking alcohol in a public place.

Defence QC John Scullion said: “Given the circumstances a custodial sentence is inevitable.”

Judge Sean Murphy QC deferred sentence on Smith until next month for background reports and remanded him in custody.


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