David Arnott, 19, threatened the cabbie after travelling with two friends from South Bridge to the Craigour area of Edinburgh.
Edinburgh Sheriff: Taxi passenger pulled out fake gun.
A teenager who pointed an imitation gun at a taxi driver to avoid paying a £9 fare was ordered to carry out community service.
David Arnott, 19, took a cab with two friends from South Bridge, Edinburgh, to the Craigour area of the city on May 15 last year.
When the taxi stopped Arnott jumped out and pulled out a fake gun, which the driver, William Simpson, believed was real. He then forced him to unlock the doors and let his friends out.
Fiscal depute Melanie Ward told Edinburgh Sheriff Court: “They arrived at around 12.15am and Arnott got out of the car but the other two were still inside.
Arnott removed an imitation firearm and pointed it at Mr Simpson and demanded the driver open the doors. Mr Simpson told the court he did not know the gun was fake and was so alarmed he told them to leave.”
The court heard Mr Simpson was able to finish his shift and then contacted the police.
Arnott, of Willowdean, Bridgend, Linlithgow, admitted intending to not pay the fare and pointing an imitation firearm at the driver.
He also admitted intending to pervert the course of justice by asking a friend to hide the gun for him.
Defence agent Chris Fehilly said Arnott was a nice young man who had gotten into bother after leaving the family home.
He added that he had one previous conviction at Justice of the Peace level for having no licence and no insurance and also said Arnott was back living with his family.
Mr Fehilly said: “It was to be frank an act of breathtaking stupidity by a young man who was extremely inebriated. The imitation firearm was essentially a toy from the property he had been consuming alcohol at and he stupidly took it out with him.
“It is fortunate the gentleman was robust and was able to continue work for the rest of the evening. He is now back in the family home and there has been no offending in the interim. He has taken the offence seriously.”
Sheriff Elizabeth Jarvie QC said she was persuaded not to impose a custodial sentence due to the lack of a long record of offending.
She ordered Arnott to carry out 300 hours of community service and to pay his victim £1000 in compensation.