A GREENOCK man who sparked a CID investigation by falsely claiming he'd been targeted by 'drive-by gunmen' following a fatal shooting in Larkfield has been spared an arrest warrant after failing to turn up for a sentencing hearing at the sheriff court.

Brian Meechan confessed that he had made up the story and he told police that he only contacted officers because he wanted a house move and 'thought this was a good way to get a crime number'.

Meechan, 51, previously pleaded guilty to temporarily depriving the public of the services of four officers after reporting that he had been repeatedly assaulted on March 25 last year.

He fabricated a story alleging that he had been fired at from a car in Larkfield, just weeks after the fatal shooting of Neil Canney in the estate.

A sheriff decided to defer sentence on Meechan for six months for him to be of good behaviour, however, he missed a follow-up hearing and must now attend a calling of the case next week to discover his fate.

Greenock Sheriff Court was told in January that Meechan went to the town’s police office last year and stated that he had been threatened on two occasions near his home on Cumberland Road.

Prosecutor Ashley Pollock said: “Police witnesses attended to speak to him and he reported that in the first instance a blue vehicle passed him on Cumberland Road and a male passenger waved a handgun at him.

"He also claimed that the same car passed him again and the man fired two shots at him from inside the vehicle."

The court previously heard that the constables reported the alleged incidents to the criminal investigation department (CID) and two senior officers spoke with Meechan.

The fiscal depute added that the officers asked him if it had happened, as a major probe would be launched if it was true.

Defence lawyer Gerry Keenan said Meechan's false report was 'a somewhat grandiose move to get a new house'.

Mr Keenan told the court Meechan's decision on the day was influenced by the fact that he had taken street valium, and the solicitor added: "He was under the influence and his perception was this might be the way to get that move.

"In the cold light of day he realises that was ridiculous.

"He came clean less than two hours later and CID already suspected this was not true.

"The period of time the police were involved was relatively short."

Representing Meechan for the latest calling of the case, lawyer Paul Cook said he had no explanation for his client’s non-attendance but confirmed that he has been of good behaviour since the offence.

Sheriff Anthony McGeehan continued proceedings to July 10.