Church heckler jailed for breach

Perth, UK - A military-clad intruder who stormed a church service before being tackled by the congregation has been jailed.

Drunk atheist Richard McKenzie barged into the service at North church in Perth last October before heckling the congregation and minister.

He then grappled with the Reverend David Denniston after grabbing a microphone to berate parishioners.

McKenzie, 23, was jailed for five months at Perth Sheriff Court for the breach of the peace.

During the hearing, the court was told how churchgoers initially sat stunned as McKenzie barged into the service and began to heckle them about their faith in God.

He ran onto the platform and grabbed the microphone before hurling foul-mouthed abuse at them and telling them they were wasting their time sitting in church on a Sunday evening.

Detox programme

Mr Denniston, who was conducting the service, then joined McKenzie on the speaker's platform and tried to talk him into stopping his rant.

McKenzie lashed out and a struggle took place between the two men and other members of church staff and congregation who joined in to help bring McKenzie under control.

Tayside Police were called and McKenzie was detained by the congregation until officers arrived to arrest him.

Fiscal depute Therese Oswald told the court that the incident had taken place during the middle of a normal Sunday evening service at the popular church.

McKenzie, who was on bail at the time of the incident, admitted struggling with members of the public, as well as kicking a door and then spitting on it.

The 23-year-old had also admitted assaulting Pc Michael Greshon by kicking him on the leg during a separate incident in Perth on 27 August.

He further admitted a charge of failing to adhere to a curfew imposed by court by being in Firbank Road, Perth, during the early hours of 26 February this year.

Solicitor Billy Somerville, defending, said: "He has a significant number of problems. He has been on a detox programme."