Motherwell thug who roamed tower block with tomahawk axe and threatened to kill neighbours, is jailed for 16 months at Hamilton Sheriff Court

A drug-crazed resident roamed a Motherwell tower block with weapons including a tomahawk-style axe and threatened to murder neighbours.

When police caught up with Ryan McLelland they were met with a volley of abuse as he yelled, 'do you know who I am? I've just done two years, eight months in Barlinnie and I'll f*****g do you'.

McLelland, 36, was jailed for 16 months at Hamilton Sheriff Court after admitting threatening or abusive behaviour and possession of weapons.

John Coogan, prosecuting, said he banged on a woman's door in Glen Tower, on April 1, tried to force his way in and shouted, 'where's the f*****g money?'

She eventually opened the door but closed it again quickly when she noticed he was holding a tomahawk, and she dialled 999.

A similar situation occurred in the tower block on June 11 when McLelland turned up at a neighbour's door demanding cash.

The fiscal said: "Later that day the accused was outside the flats and could be heard shouting to a neighbour, 'I'll get you shot. I'm going to murder you'.

"He was then seen at the window of his own flat, shouting towards a neighbour while holding a hammer and a large kitchen knife.

"McLelland then went to the door of a flat and threatened to murder the occupants.

"They looked through the peephole and saw him holding the knife and hammer as he continued to make threats."

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McLelland also admitted breaching a bail curfew.

Defence lawyer Andy Iles told the court: "He was living on his own and having mental health difficulties. He was getting no assistance with these and was drinking too much and taking street Valium which led to him acting in this way.

"The complainers are family members and he has tried to make amends. His mother passed away in 2021 and she was an important person in his life."

Passing sentence, Sheriff Colin Dunipace said he was "astonished" at the number of cases he had to deal with involving people "wandering about the jurisdiction with knives".

He told McLelland: "The message has to get out that this type of behaviour is unacceptable and will be treated severely by the courts."