Elgin paintball attack on three children sees Moray 29-year-old fined
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SHOOTING three children with a paintball gun on an Elgin street has landed a 29-year-old with a £750 fine.
At Elgin Sheriff Court yesterday (Thursday, October 19), Joe Taylor, of Distillery Drive, Elgin was told to pay £250 to each of the three children hurt in the June 20, 2023 attack.
The court heard the children – two 12-year-olds and an eight year old – had been playing "chap door run" that afternoon and had kicked Taylor's door.
The man – who pleaded guilty to three charges of assaulting the children by shooting them with the paintball gun – had "challenged the children on their behaviour", fiscal depute Karen Poke said, and the children ran away.
Pursuing the trio by car, Taylor blocked their path as they ran down a footpath parallel to Bain Avenue.
Ms Poke said the 29-year-old "retrieved a paintball gun" and "brandished" it at the children, before shooting them "in a sweeping motion from right to left".
The court was shown pictures of the children's bruising after the attack, though "none of the witnesses required any medical attention."
After the children came home, their mothers went to Taylor's house to "challenge" him, Ms Poke said.
Despite not being at home, the 29-year-old spoke to the parents via his video doorbell before they reported him to the police.
According to Ms Poke, when asked by the parents whether he shot the children, Taylor said: “They had been kicking my door, they do it all the time.”
Taylor's solicitor Graham Mann said the man had never: "been involved in anything similar" and that his client understood there was "no excuse" for his actions.
A social work report, he added, showed that Taylor appreciated that shooting the children with a paintball gun was: "quite extreme behaviour".
In the leadup to the incident, the court heard, the attacker and his partner had been experiencing a difficult family situation.
Mr Mann said previous, repeated door-kicking incidents had caused Taylor's partner significant distress.
As a result of these circumstances, he argued, the man: "Took matters into his own hands in a really unfortunate manner."
The court also heard that "sole breadwinner" Taylor had a "good job" and a "responsible job", which provided him enough income to pay a fine.
Mr Mann said there was: "No indication that this is the type of behaviour that would be repeated."
Sheriff David Sutherland ordered Taylor to pay £250 in compensation to each of the three children he shot with the paintball gun.
He was given 28 days to pay the £750 total.