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Perth bakery thief said he abused police because they taunted him about his weight

Barry McQuaid.
Barry McQuaid.

A thief who robbed a cake shop claimed he hurled abuse at police officers because they were taunting him for being overweight.

Barry McQuaid said he lashed out at the officers because when they came to arrest him they were calling him a “fat b*****d”.

The 33-year-old stole a Poppy Appeal charity tin from Baynes Bakery after blagging a free cup of coffee from the unsuspecting staff.

Solicitor Pauline Cullerton told Perth Sheriff Court: “He felt aggrieved at being stopped by the police.

“The police were calling him names and he retaliated and acted in the manner to which he has pleaded guilty.”

“That’s because they were shouting at me,” McQuaid told the court. “They were calling me a fat b*****d.”

Depute fiscal Matthew Kerr said: “The accused attended at 6.10am and stated he wanted a free cup of coffee as he was due one but didn’t have his loyalty card.

“When they opened the shop the staff had noticed there was a Poppy Appeal charity tin sitting on the counter near the window.

“The staff member turned her back to the counter to make the coffee. She handed it to the accused and he left.”

The tin was noted missing when the next customer volunteered to put his change in it. A member of the public reported seeing the empty tin in a wheelie bin the following morning.

The police were given a description of the culprit and spotted him two days later, so they stopped and searched him in the Letham area of Perth.

“He was handcuffed,” Mr Kerr said, “at which point he started acting aggressively and was swearing at the police. He was arrested and taken to Perth Police Station.”

McQuaid, of Princes Street, Perth, admitted stealing around £40 in charity cash from the bakery on Rannoch Road, Perth, on October 23 last year.

He also admitted that three days later in the city’s Campsie Road he acted in a threatening or abusive manner towards police officers.

Mrs Cullerton said: “He has no other matters outstanding since this offence. He was under the influence of Valium at the time of committing the theft.”

Sheriff William Wood, who has a military background, said: “I have had to put aside some personal views in relation to the fact it’s the poppy tin you stole.

“I have given some serious thought to whether a jail sentence is most appropriate. Clearly stealing any charity tin is despicable conduct.”

McQuaid had sentence deferred for six months.

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