A TRANENT man who pulled out a BB gun on the top deck of a bus and shot a passenger, who then collapsed with a seizure, has been sentenced to carry out unpaid work.

Barry Shields, 30, shot the man in the back of the head as he and friend Jason Sharp fired at each other as they travelled home from a holiday in Blackpool.

Shields and Sharp, 36, had bought the BB guns in the Lancashire resort as a present for young relatives but could not resist using them before they got home.

Shields started the fracas in August by pulling his weapon from a bag and shooting at his friend before Sharp retaliated by firing back.

But during the dangerous exchange aboard the bus, Shields, of Caponhall Drive, missed his intended target and instead struck passenger Gordon Turner in the head with a pellet.

The shocked man remonstrated with the drunken pair as the bus pulled onto Bridge Street in Tranent but, after he was aggressively shouted at, he collapsed, suffering from an “anxiety” seizure.

The bus was immediately pulled over and an ambulance and the police were called in to deal with the attack.

Sharp, of Forrester’s View, and Shields fled the bus but were soon identified and arrested in the town about two hours later.

Both men appeared from custody at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last Thursday, where they were sentenced after previously pleading guilty to offences under the Firearms Act.

Sheriff Kenneth McGowan was told that the pair had spent four months on remand following the incident and ordered them both to be placed on 12 months of supervision and to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work in the community.

Sheriff McGowan told the pair: “This is the kind of behaviour I would ordinarily expect to see from a 13-year-old schoolboy and not a 30-year-old-plus man. But you have spent time on remand.”

Prosecutor Susan Dickson told the court that Sharp and Shields were on the top deck of a 113 East Coast bus travelling from Edinburgh to Tranent at about 10.30pm on August 30.

Ms Dickson said that Shields pulled his gun from a bag and began “shooting at Sharp’s direction” after loading the gun with yellow BB pellets.

Sharp then retaliated and shot his friend in the face before Shields then struck innocent passenger Mr Turner to the back of the head.

The fiscal added: “Mr Turner then turned round to ask what they were doing and Sharp then began shouting at the passenger aggressively.

“Mr Turner then suffered an anxiety fit as a result of the incident.”

The pair, who had been drinking that day, got off the bus before police arrived but were picked up and arrested two hours later after being spotted on the town’s High Street.

Sharp’s defence agent Cameron Tait said that his client was a window cleaner to trade and the pair had been on a three-day excursion to Blackpool where they had bought the weapons as a present for relatives. Mr Tait said the pair had “foolishly took them out” of a bag and carried out the act he described as an “unbelievably stupid thing to do”.

Angela Craig, Shields’ lawyer, said her client was “very, very remorseful” about the incident and had offered to pay Mr Turner compensation.

Sharp admitted possessing an imitation firearm and assaulting Shields by repeatedly discharging a BB gun and striking him to the head with a BB pellet, all aboard a 113 East Coast bus at Bridge Street, Tranent, on August 8.

He also pleaded guilty to behaving aggressively towards Mr Turner.

Shields pleaded guilty to possessing an imitation firearm and assaulting Mr Turner by repeatedly discharging a BB gun and striking him to the head with a BB pellet during the same incident.