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Ex-serviceman pleads guilty to brandishing a knife and holding up an ambulance on busy Elgin road

By Ali Morrison

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AN Elgin man who held up an ambulance and several cars while brandishing a knife on a busy road has pled guilty to three charges.

Elgin Sheriff Court and Justice of the Peace Court on the High Street, Elgin. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
Elgin Sheriff Court and Justice of the Peace Court on the High Street, Elgin. Picture: Daniel Forsyth

Scott Cruden, appeared at Elgin Sheriff Court via videolink from Inverness Prison, where he pled guilty to a series of charges, including assaulting emergency workers and engaging in disorderly conduct.

Procurator Fiscal Sharon Ralph said that the Elgin ex-serviceman had been at home with two friends on the evening of December 28, 2023 when disturbing news about a family member's health triggered an emotional outburst, leading to the accused smashing items and injuring himself with a kitchen knife.

Later that night, a taxi driver encountered Cruden on Morriston Road, where he appeared unstable, swaying, and staggering. Witnesses reported that he was waving a knife, and went onto the road causing the driver to stop. Cruden was then seen arguing with his friends, who were heard to shout "put the knife down". He then moved back into the road, causing more vehicles to stop and was heard shouting, swearing and "squaring up" to passengers while waving the knife.

The 40-year-old then blocked the path of an ambulance which was trying to use the road and had blue lights and sirens running, forcing the emergency vehicle to stop. He was then heard challenging the emergency responders and ultimately threw the knife at the vehicle.

Defence solicitor Robert Cruickshank said that Cruden, who has struggled with his mental health and addiction since being discharged from the army had no recollection of the incident, adding that the news about his brother's health served as a triggering factor, and Cruden acknowledged the unacceptability of his actions.

Sheriff David Sutherland deferred sentence pending a psychiatric report.

View our fact sheet on court reporting here

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