A PROPERTY developer who faked his suicide by blasting his shotgun while his wife and children cowered in a bathroom nearby has been described by a sheriff as "a melodramatic attention-seeker".

Sheriff Lindsay Foulis berated William Frame for the stunt which left his family thinking he had shot himself just yards from where they were hiding.

But he singled out Frame's wife Wendy for praise for the coolness she showed in locking herself and the children in a safe place while he went on the rampage.

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Frame said he was going to shoot himself then took the shotgun into a bedroom at his sprawling home. His family heard the gun blast -but were unaware Frame had shot a tree out of the window.

"You decided to act in an extremely melodramatic way," Sheriff Foulis told Frame at Perth Sheriff Court. "While you had no intention of ending your life the people close to you did not know that."

He ordered Frame to carry out 275 hours' unpaid work.

The 55-year-old property magnate blamed the pressure he had been put under by the banking crisis for firing the gun in his home.

Frame's wife and children believed he had killed himself and did not realise he had shot out of the bedroom window until he knocked the door.

They were so frightened by his conduct they stayed locked in the bathroom until police arrived at their Perthshire estate house.

Frame, Gamefield, Ochtertyre - the founder of property firm Braemore Estates - admitted conducting him-self in a disorderly manner on June 16 last year. He admitted shouting and swearing and threatening to kill himself at his home near Crieff, Perthshire.