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Angus & The Mearns

“Give me that fag or I’ll shoot you” — Jail for man who pointed pistol for single cigarette

August 4 2016

A man who pointed a gun at a man's head to steal a single cigarette has been jailed for 27 months. Kevin Ross pulled an air pistol - which looked like a real handgun - on Spanish national Andreas Giallombardo at Arbroath railway station on a busy Friday night, sparking a major police operation. Several streets were closed as a cordon was thrown up around the scene of the incident on March 11 this year. Specialist police assisted local officers as they probed the bizarre incident. Incredibly, Mr Giallombardo, 41, remained so calm that he managed to talk Ross into lowering the gun. Fiscal depute Eilidh Robertson told Forfar Sheriff Court: "The complainer was standing outside Arbroath station and was approached by the accused who he thinks he recognises from local pubs. "After a few minutes the accused tried to grab a cigarette from the complainer saying 'give me that fag or I'll shoot you'. "He then pointed a black handgun at his forehead. "The victim told the accused to stop being stupid and put the gun away. "He then said he was going to call the police and went away to call 999. "Police attended and the accused was found nearby. "Sniffer dogs then found the handgun nearby. "The gun was examined and found to be a CO2-powered weapon powerful enough to be classed as a firearm." Ross, 43, a prisoner at HMP Perth, appeared at Forfar Sheriff Court and pleaded guilty on indictment to presenting an air pistol to Andreas Giallombardo with intent to rob him, and the unlawful possession of the pistol in a public place. Ross admitted assaulting Mr Giallombardo, presenting an imitation pistol at him, threatening to shoot him, and demanding a cigarette from him, with intent to rob him. He further admitted having an imitation firearm without lawful authority or reasonable excuse. Defence solicitor Mike Horsman said: "He can give no real explanation for this ridiculous behaviour. "He accepts this was an extremely stupid act on his part. It has to be accepted it must have been terrifying for the complainer." Sheriff Gregor Murray jailed Ross for 27 months, reduced from three years for his early plea. He said: "Any person who takes a firearm and uses it in the act of robbery must accept there is no alternative to a significant custodial sentence. "You have an analagous previous conviction at the High Court."


Footballer rape claim: Court hears woman did not know she had met David Goodwillie

October 25 2016

A woman who is suing two former Dundee United footballers she claims raped her was unaware of who one of them was when she was told by police that they had a DNA finding for him, a court has been told. The accuser was medically examined after police were contacted in January in 2011 and samples were sent for analysis. Detective Sergeant Rebecca Gregson, 36, said: "I am aware the complainer was told about a DNA hit on January 17." She continued: "From what I can remember she was still unaware who that particular male was and was quite adamant that how his DNA was there was confusing. She couldn't understand." Simon Di Rollo QC, for the woman, said police were able to identify the male and the officer said: "Yes, it was David Goodwillie's semen." The former Scotland striker is being sued along with ex-United teammate David Robertson in the action. Mr Di Rollo said: "In her evidence to us she said at one point 'I have never met David Goodwillie'. Is that consistent with what she was saying to you when you were informing her of this?." The detective replied: "Yes." DS Gregson said that at one point police carried out a "cognitive interview" with the woman and explained it was a technique in which the interviewee was taken back to the actual incident to relive it. She agreed there was a gap in her memory in terms of what had happened to her. Mr Di Rollo asked her if the memory was recovered and she said: "No." She said Goodwillie was interviewed but gave a "no comment interview". The 30-year woman is suing Goodwillie and Robertson after raising a £500,000 damages claim at the Court of Session in Edinburgh. It is alleged both men raped the 30-year-old woman in the early hours of January 2 at a flat in Armadale, in West Lothian, following a night out. It is claimed that she was incapable of giving free agreement at the time when intercourse took place. Goodwillie, who is now with Plymouth Argyle, and Robertson, of Bathgate, deny the allegation and maintain that intercourse was consensual. Neither was prosecuted. They claim that CCTV footage shows the woman was capable of walking, holding a conversation and using her mobile phone. DS Gregson agreed that Goodwillie was charged and a report was sent to Crown Office against him alone. Mr Di Rollo said Robertson subsequently gave a statement to detectives in July in the course of which he indicated that he too had had sexual intercourse with the woman. The detective sergeant agreed that up until that point there was no evidence about that. Mr Di Rollo said: "He had, of course, been told he would not be prosecuted in respect of this matter." DS Gregson said: "I believe so." The senior counsel said that a decision was subsequently made by Crown Office that no proceedings were to be taken and she said: "Yes." Anne Marie McKay told the court that she had gone out with friends on the evening of January 1 and went to the Glenmavis Tavern, in Bathgate, also known as Smiths. She said she had never seen the woman in the bar before but knew her through work. She said she was at the bar when the woman fell over into her side. She had later seen her making her way to the public bar. Ms McKay (47) said she was "quite drunk" and added: "Her eyes were quite glazed over and her words weren't like making sense." She later saw her again outside the pub. She said: "She was kind of staggering about and she only had one shoe on." "I called over to her was she OK and where was her shoe. She said that's what she was doing — trying to find her shoe," she said. Ms McKay agreed with Roddy McIlvride QC, for Robertson, that the woman was wearing very high-heeled shoes that night. But she said of the initial incident in the pub: "She was standing still next to me and had come over this way so she wasn't walking." The hearing before Lord Armstrong continues.


Fake pistol sparked police firearms response at Dundee nightclub

January 12 2018

A man who showed nightclub bouncers an imitation handgun he had tucked in his waistband after he was refused entry to the club was yesterday behind bars. Dawid Stec sparked a major incident outside Dundee’s Club Tropicana nightspot when armed officers were rushed to the scene. Despite the seriousness of the situation, Stec – who faces deportation to his native Poland after being convicted there of a serious assault in his absence – stood laughing throughout his arrest. He has been warned he faces a lengthy jail sentence when he returns to court next month. Depute fiscal Charmaine Gilmartin told Dundee Sheriff Court: “The accused and friends were seen acting strangely outside the club, exaggerating their movements and bumping into people. “They left to join the queue at Liquid nightclub nearby but were refused entry. “They walked the short distance back to Club Tropicana and started acting oddly again. “The accused walked towards the Hilton hotel across the street and lifted his top, showing what appeared to be a gold-coloured handgun, which fell to the ground. “It made a metallic sound when it hit the ground. “He started to walk away but door staff ran over and grabbed him while others contacted police. “Officers arrived and saw the handgun on the ground. “The accused found it funny and laughed throughout his arrest. “Firearms officers then attended and declared the item safe. “It was later examined and found to be an air soft pistol designed to shoot 6mm ball bearings and with the appearance of an American-made Colt pistol,” she said. Stec, 24, of Main Street, Dundee, pleaded guilty on indictment to having possession of an imitation firearm without lawful authority on March 4 2017 in South Ward Road, Dundee. Defence solicitor Scott Norrie said: “He was out with friends drinking and this item was found by one of his friends. “He didn’t appreciate his actions were clearly going to cause alarm.” Sheriff Alastair Brown deferred sentence until next month for social work background reports and remanded Stec in custody meantime.


Man who fantasised about being a policeman had baton in car

December 15 2016

A fantasist once convicted of impersonating a police sergeant has avoided jail term — after real officers found him with an 18 inch long extendable baton in his motor. Kelvin Swann was caught after being tipped off by one of his colleague's about the spring-loaded baton in his car, similar to those carried by police. Swann was previously convicted of masquerading as a police officer when he pulled a woman over in St Andrews as she drove her 12-year-old daughter to school. He pulled up alongside her car and accused her of committing five separate crimes in the space of minutes before pretending to call the station for backup. In the new incident Swann was detained when a series of police vehicle swooped on him near the Tay Road Bridge in Dundee. Depute Fiscal Sue Ruta told Dundee Sheriff Court: "The matter came to light when officers received intelligence that the accused would be travelling over the Tay Road Bridge in a Vauxhall Corsa van containing an extendable baton and potentially a canister of spray. "Due to that information police took up a marked vantage point at the bridge entrance on the Fife side at about 1.20pm. "The accused was spotted travelling northwards. "He was followed by police officers and was stopped at the Apex Hotel by four police officers who advised him of the reason he had been stopped. "He openly admitted that he was in possession of an extendable baton in the rear of his vehicle. "An 18-inch spring-loaded baton was concealed in the boot. "The accused was arrested by officers and taken into police custody and charged. "The accused made no reply." The court was told Swann, a former RAF airman, had shown the baton to a colleague and that he had it in his car for a couple of days. Swann, 53, of Miltonbank Crescent, St Andrews, pleaded guilty to a charge of possessing an offensive weapon on August 12. Defence solicitor Alan Davie said: "He's someone with an interest in militaria and as such bought this item. "He didn't put any thought in to travelling with it in his possession." Sheriff Lorna Drummond QC imposed a community payback order with 120 hours unpaid work. She said: "It is a relatively serious matter to have an offensive weapon without excuse or authority in a public place."


Tusk-tusk — jail for Dundee ivory thief

April 27 2016

A thief who stole elephant tusks valued at £20,000 from his landlord's house has been jailed for 14 months. Aurimas Kyliokas talked Nazir Valihahomed, a colleague at the restaurant he was working in in Dundee, into giving him a room at his home in the city's Carseview Gardens. Six months later Kyliokas, a Lithuanian national, fled with two elephant tusks, two ivory statues and £400 worth of cigarettes and e-cigarettes. Fiscal depute Eilidh Robertson told Dundee Sheriff Court none of the items Kyliokas stole have ever been found by police. She said: "Mr Valimahomed claims that the elephant tusks were worth £20,000. "Police were called and he later spoke to a work colleague who said that the accused had been asking her questions about the value of ivory. "Police also traced two men who told them the accused had tried to sell them the elephant tusks a few weeks after the theft." Kyliokas went on to break into a newsagents in the Lochee area of Dundee - stealing £3000 worth of cigarettes and £30 in cash. Miss Robertson added: "CCTV clearly showed the accused smashing the window of the store shortly before 5am on November 5 2015. "He is then seen walking down the street carrying several carrier bags of cigarettes. "None of the stolen property has been recovered." Kyliokas, 33, a prisoner at HMP Grampian, pleaded guilty on indictment to two charges of theft by housebreaking. Representing himself, Kyliokas told the court through an interpreter: "I would like to apologise to these people to whom I have done these things. "I am sorry for my deeds. "When I did these things I was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. "I'm ready for any punishment you are going to give me." Sheriff Lorna Drummond QC jailed Kyliokas for 14 months and one week. She said: "I'm in no doubt these offences warrant custody. "They are all the more serious standing your record."


Stun gun tip-off led police to find stash of bullets in Dundee man’s home

May 3 2018

Police uncovered a haul of live ammunition at a man’s house after being tipped off that he had an illegal stun gun. Paul Campbell has been jailed for a year after officers raided his home in Dundee’s Derwent Avenue last May. They had been tipped off that Campbell had bought an illicit stun gun weapon from the internet. When they turned up they found the weapon sitting openly on his coffee table. They then carried out a full search and found a total of 35 live .22 calibre rifle bullets. Fiscal depute Nicola Gillespie told Dundee Sheriff Court: “On being shown the search warrant the accused stated ‘it’s here’ and pointed over to a pouch containing a stun gun on his coffee table. “A search commenced and a quantity of ammunition was found. He said he had got it at a car boot sale. “The stun gun is said to be designed as a self-defence device with a torch as a secondary function. “Metal electrodes protrude from the top of the device. It was in good condition and working. “When pressed against the body it produces a high voltage pulse designed to temporarily incapacitate.” Campbell, 47, of Derwent Avenue, Dundee, pleaded guilty on indictment to charges of possessing a stun gun and possessing .22 calibre ammunition on May 13 last year at his home address. Solicitor advocate Jim Laverty, defending, said: “He’s aware this is a serious matter. There was a significant degree of naivety and stupidity on his part rather than anything nefarious. “The article was found in open view in his house and was immediately handed to police.” Sheriff Lorna Drummond QC jailed Campbell for a year and said: “These are charges so serious that the custodial threshold is passed. “The question is whether there is any alternative to a prison sentence. “My view is that the severity of these offences is such that the only realistic option is custody.”


Man goes on trial accused of double murder in Dundee

September 19 2017

A man has gone on trial at the High Court accused of a double murder in Dundee. Krzysztof Gadecki denies murdering Ronald Kidd and Holly Alexander at a flat in the city between between December 8 and 11 last year. The High Court in Edinburgh heard Mr Kidd and Ms Alexander were found dead after a security firm failed to make contact with Mr Kidd, who was wearing an electronic tag. Police were alerted and a constable who attended at the flat in Rosefield Street saw "blood splatter" inside. PC Aaron Brake, 33, said: "It looked like something had happened within the property. I could see various items strewn about." He said he had contacted his control room to get in touch with public works to force the lock so that the inside of the flat could be looked at. After a joiner forced the lock he was able to see a dead woman inside the flat and a man's legs sticking out from behind a bedroom door. Gadecki, 38, is alleged to have murdered Mr Kidd, who was 40, by repeatedly striking him on the head and body with a knife or similar instrument between December 8 and 11 last year at his home at 20G Rosefield Street. He is also charged with murdering Ms Alexander, who was 37, at the flat where she was staying by repeatedly striking her on the body with a knife or similar instrument between the same dates. Gadecki is also charged with stealing a set of keys, three watches, a pocket watch, a silver chain, a flask, two wallets and their contents, money and drugs. He is also accused of attempting to defeat the ends of justice by putting clothing in a washing machine and disposing of training shoes and a mobile phone. He has denied the charges and lodged a special defence of self defence claiming that he had been assaulted by the deceased. The trial before Lord Boyd of Duncansby continues. For more, see Wednesday's Courier

Angus & The Mearns

Thug turned up at Angus home armed with gun and demanded cash

January 9 2018

A gun thug who turned up at a man’s door and pointed a gun at him - then claimed it was a “Glock” during the terrifying incident - was yesterday facing years in jail. Jordan Henderson was warned he faces a lengthy sentence over the robbery bid at an address in Brechin on August 18 last year. Henderson - who once dodged a jail term after giving his ADHD medication to kids as young as 13 - turned up at Jack Swinscoe’s door in the Angus town around 3.30pm. Dundee Sheriff Court heard the 20-year-old victim answered the door - but initially found nobody there despite fresh footprints being visible on the ground outside. Moments later Henderson came towards Mr Swinscoe carrying what appeared to be a handgun which he then pointed through the gap in the door as he shouted “give me your kitty”. Fiscal depute Eilidh Robertson told the court: “The complainer said he didn’t have anything but the accused said ‘give me your money, give me everything’. “The complainer asked what the gun was and the accused said it was a Glock. “The complainer pretended to go inside to get money and at that point the accused ran away and police were called. “Mr Swinscoe was visibly shaking when police arrived. “The gun was recovered in bushes nearby and the accused detained shortly after. “It was examined by forensics and found to be a CO2 pistol designed to discharge air gun pellets loaded in to an eight shot magazine. “It was powerful enough to be classified as an air weapon.” Sheriff Alastair Brown said: “Would it be fair to say that although it is in fact an air gun it is designed to look like a handgun?” Miss Robertson replied: “Yes - and that’s certainly the impression the complainer had.” Henderson, 23, a prisoner at HMP Perth, pleaded guilty to a charge on indictment of assaulting Jack Swinscoe at an address in River Street, Brechin, Angus, by presenting a firearm at him and repeatedly demanding drugs and money from him and attempting to rob him. Defence solicitor Nick Markowski said: “These things are manufactured to look like the real thing. “He says he found it in a park a couple of weeks before that.” Sheriff Alastair Brown deferred sentence until February 5 for social work background reports and remanded Henderson in custody meantime. He said: “Based on the pleas in mitigation I hear from solicitors in cases of this type, it seems to me that it is not possible to walk through the streets of this area without finding air weapons strewn around.”


Dundee duo accepted breaking into offices but rejected charge of theft

August 25 2016

A pair of thieves tried to negotiate with police over what they should be charged with after they were caught breaking into a busy Dundee office building. Reece Hunt and Lee Armstrong donned heavy orange gloves to avoid leaving DNA or fingerprints at Dundee's Figure 8 Consultancy Services. But the hapless duo didn't realise they were being watched by people in neighbouring properties as they broke in. Police were called and Hunt and Armstrong immediately held up their hands and said a stolen laptop computer had been stashed in a rucksack. Armstrong told officers: "I'm not a child. I'm fully aware that I shouldn’t have been breaking into a building. "A charge of breaking and entering would be fair. A charge of theft wouldn't." Accomplice Hunt, 18, said: "That's my bag. There's a laptop inside it. Nothing else. We're just being stupid." He told the officers Armstrong had told him to put the computer in his bag. Dundee Sheriff Court heard Armstrong had previously served time in prison in connection with assault and robbery. Hunt, 18, of Adamson Court, and Armstrong, 23, of Landsdowne Court, both Dundee, pleaded guilty to breaking into commercial premises in Whitehall Street and stealing a laptop. George Donnelly, representing Armstrong, said: "I ask the court accepts this was a one-off, silly, silly escapade." Sheriff Lorna Drummond QC imposed community payback orders on both men - with 80 hours unpaid work for Hunt and 130 hours for Armstrong. She said: "Breaking in to any premises is always serious."

Perth & Kinross

Perthshire father and son face 10 years in jail for haul of lethal weapons

March 27 2018

A father and son have been warned they face up to 10 years in prison after being discovered with a firearms haul including chemical weapons banned from use in international warfare. James, 66, and Stuart McCullie, 41, were discovered to be keeping tear gas and dumdum bullets at their home when it was raided in relation to allegations of extreme pornography. The duo admitted charges when they appeared at Perth Sheriff Court yesterday and were warned the maximum sentence on each charge was 10 years in prison. Former soldier James McCullie admitted having prohibited ammunition – five live long rifle cartridges – which had been designed or adapted to expand on impact. The so-called dumdum, or expanding, bullets are designed to spread on impact, increasing in diameter to produce a larger wound for faster incapacitation. They are often used for hunting but are generally prohibited for use in war by international convention. McCullie Sr’s involvement came to light when the family home at Hillhead Farm Steadings, Auchterarder, was raided by police investigating the downloading of bestiality images. He was charged in connection with possession of extreme content but that charge was dropped by the Crown yesterday. Stuart McCullie admitted having seven prohibited live 6mm Flobert gas irritant cartridges containing CN which were recovered during the police raid on September 8 2015. He also admitted having a prohibited weapon, namely a starter pistol designed or adapted to discharge noxious liquid or gas. The court was told that the CN cartridges were tear gas which is used for riot control by some police forces but is also banned from use in international warfare. Tear gas, formally known as a lachrymator agent, is a chemical weapon that causes severe eye and respiratory pain, skin irritation, bleeding, and even blindness. Depute fiscal Lynne Mannion said factory worker Stuart McCullie had been questioned by police on another matter and was being driven home when he confessed about his illicit weapon. Sheriff Lindsay Foulis said: “I have looked at sentencing practice and, by my calculations, the maximum sentence on each charge is 10 years. “Of perhaps greater significance, as far as I can see, is that there is a minimum penalty.” Sheriff Foulis deferred sentence on both for the preparation of reports and they were granted bail.