A LUMPHINNANS council tenant who made bizarre claims to being a landowner has been found guilty of knife offences.

Self-declared land-owner and farmer Thomas Johnstone called the police out to deal with poachers on his property.

However, there was never any proof found that he owned any of the land he claimed was his and he was arrested for having two knives in his possession.

Johnstone, 47, of Brucefield Terrace, appeared on trial from custody at Dunfermline Sheriff Court.

He denied that on May 7 last year, at the A92 and B0149 Lochgelly interchange, on the embankment of Loch Gelly, he was unlawfully in possession of a sheath knife and a lock knife.

The trial heard that police had found Johnstone in possession of the knives after he had called them saying he was a land owner and people were poaching.

Johnstone, who lives in a council house, told the court that he owned a farm in Auchtertool, having built it.

He also claimed that at one time “all the farmers got together and gave me pieces of land”.

This included the path down to the lochside which he claimed was “an ancient right of way but not a public path”.

The accused, who likes to be known as “Thomas Johnstone Esquire” said he had no documentation to prove he owned any of the land.

Sheriff Craig McSherry was unimpressed by Johnstone’s bizarre claims and told him: “I don’t accept you own the land and there’s no evidence you’re a farmer or involved in any way in farming.”

The sheriff added: “I’m surprised the police even bothered to turn up to a call about people being on his land.”

He found Johnstone guilty. Defence solicitor Martin McGuire said his client was on methadone and had previously been on a drug treatment and testing order.

The sheriff called for reports and Johnstone was released on bail until sentencing on October 3.