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Problem neighbours, businessmen behaving badly and ‘unnatural connections’ with a dog — Perth Sheriff Court 2021 review

Pert Sheriff Court graphic

Even a pandemic could not halt the juggernaut of justice that is Perth Sheriff Court.

Throughout 2021 we were the public’s eyes and ears at the centuries-old courthouse, as staff dealt with a daily conveyor belt of offending.

Here, we parcel up some of the most significant local cases from the last 12 months.

Click the links, sit back and r-live the good times.

You may be here some time though…

The nightmare next door

Lockdown 2020 may have inspired us to look out for our neighbours but feuds over the garden fence became something of a running theme.

The year began with the tale of two feuding Kinross-shire OAPs who took their quarrel over a metre-wide patch of boundary land to court.

The row between Terence Doyle and David Poole had been rumbling for 20 years and even led to a physical clash between the two octogenarians, which was described as “like a cage fight”.

The disputed boundary line between Terence Doyle's and David Poole's properties.
The disputed boundary line between Terence Doyle’s and David Poole’s properties.

In a written judgment, Sheriff Lindsay Foulis refused Mr Pooles’ bid for an interdict against Mr Doyle, saying: “It is hard to believe this action…commenced in late spring 2014 but there we are – such can be the nature of boundary disputes.”


Earlier this summer, Auchterarder businessman Rikki Millar was fined £400 for smashing his neighbours’ plant pot.

Alison MacKenzie and Rikki Millar
Feuding neighbours Alison MacKenzie and Rikki Millar, of Belvidere Place, Auchterarder.

He accepts he “snapped” but claims he has been tormented by neighbour Allison MacKenzie for years.

He said she accused him of drilling holes in his wall to spy on her – something Miss MacKenzie denied – and when he opened his diner, he received “slanderous” Facebook comments.

Miss MacKenzie said she was scared to go home but Sheriff William Wood rejected an injuction against Millar, claiming it would expose one side to “malicious” complaints.


In scenic Abernethy, Peter and Barbara Doogan have been having trouble with neighbour Grant Hunter.

Grant Hunter, Barbara and Peter Doogan
Grant Hunter appeared at Perth Sheriff Court after dispute with neighbours Barbara and Peter Doogan spiralled out of control.

They told prosecutors: “We can no longer stay next door to a nutter”.

Hunter, who churned up land between the two households using an industrial digger, also smashed up his neighbours’ plant pot, before fighting with police on a road nearby.

He was ordered to compensate the Doogans for the loss of their £140 porcelain pot.

Mrs Doogan later branded the sentence as “a joke.”

Businessmen behaving badly

Standing in society is no barrier to bampottery.

A rare stamp landed well-known Kinross-shire businessman Richard Allcoat in the dock.

Richard Allcoat and his Kinross stamp shop
Richard Allcoat and his Kinross stamp shop

The philatelist, who runs a specialist shop in Kinross, pocketed a highly collectable £5,000 Penny Blue from a grieving family’s collection and tried to sell it on Ebay after they entrusted him to value it.

Allcoat, who has been a dealer for 20 years, was caught when the family noticed the stamp was gone.


Douglas Lammie, who runs a property firm in Glasgow, was jailed in December after he admitted stealing more than £43,000 worth of apparently random pieces of machinery to pay off loan sharks.

The 59-year-old stole a JCB digger from Gleneagles, an industrial lighting unit from Edinburgh Airport, a roller from Balfour Beattie’s A9 base near Bankfoot and a mini-digger from Denny Cemetery.

Douglas Lammie, Perth Sheriff Court
Douglas Lammie stole vehicles to fight debts.

The former CEO of bookmaking giant Ladbrokes gambled with the law when he made off with a delivery driver’s car from outside a Perth kebab house after a drunken night out in the city centre.

Recently-retired Kenny Alexander, who as boss of Britain’s biggest betting firm commanded a net worth of around £23 million, accelerated away from the Marmaris takeaway in South Methven Street when the driver stepped inside to pick up an order.

The court was told the 52-year-old was seized by a “moment of madness” after he and his drinking buddy were refused entry to a taxi home.

He was fined £1,000 and banned from the road for a year.

Kenny Alexander
Former Ladbrokes boss Kenny Alexander

RIP Ian

In early June, Perth was shaken by the news of local man Ian Menzies’ sudden death.

The 55-year-old was discovered at his home in the city’s Scott Street.

Ian Menzies
Ian Menzies was described as “the best dad, grandad and brother in the world”.

Friends and well-wishers left bouquets of flowers, as well as a Celtic top signed by relatives, on his doorstep.

Later that month, Ian’s son Craig Nixon, who was arrested in London in connection with the death, appeared in private at Perth Sheriff Court.

It is alleged he murdered his father on June 3 – five days before his body was discovered – by repeatedly striking him with a hammer, or similar weapon.

The 36-year-old is awaiting trial.

Domestic abuse in many guises

We were glad to expose instances of the he insidious, behind-closed-doors domestic abusers on our patch.

A woman linked to one of Tayside’s most infamous unsolved murders was tracked down by her ex-boyfriend and beaten with a wooden pole.

Tommy Doyle, Angela Newlands, Crieff
Tommy Doyle was convicted of attacking Angela Newlands in Crieff.

Angela Newlands suffered severe head injuries following the Valentine’s Day attack at her home in Crieff.

The new mum, who was cleared of killing young Traveller Annalise Johnstone, was found by police officers lying curled up on her bed, while Doyle was led away in handcuffs.


A “toxic” boyfriend was ordered to stay away from two former partners after he subjected them to eight years of abusive behaviour, angry outbursts and text threats.

Marc Cosgrove repeatedly raged at one of his girlfriends for little or no reason.

Marc Cosgrove
Marc Cosgrove arrives at Perth Sheriff Court

When the relationship ended, he posted on Facebook he would expose “her dirty little secrets”.

When the woman went to police, a domestic abuse taskforce interviewed an ex-girlfriend and found there was a pattern of such behaviour.

He was ordered to complete unpaid work, as a direct alternative to custody.


A former banking boss made malicious complaints about his ex-partner to her employers and racked up a £4,000 credit bill in her name as part of a 20-month campaign of cruelty.

Richard Meade bombarded his ex-partner with thousands of messages and repeatedly turned up at her work uninvited.

During their relationship, he tried to control and regulate her contact with her family.

The 37-year-old was found guilty after trial of engaging in a course of abusive behaviour towards his victim between April, 2019 and December, 2020.

Richard Meade
Richard Meade at Perth Sheriff Court

Just say no…

Drugs continue to feature in many crimes.

A stranded drugs mule accepted a lift from police after he crashed his car on the A9, near Auchterarder – despite carrying two suitcases packed with £140,000 of cannabis.

Officers spotted Jesse Winsborough walking along the roadside carting the two heavy cases behind him.

The Good Samaritan officers noticed the strong smell of herbal cannabis when they loaded Winsborough’s cases into their car.

Winsborough, from Waltham Forest, pled guilty to being concerned in the supply of cannabis on a journey between London and Perthshire on January 27 and 28, 2020.

Rogues, robbers, motoring madness and a knobkerrie — The year in review in Fife’s sheriff courts

 

Perth firefighters uncovered a £30,000 cannabis factory while evacuating flats following a major blaze at a city centre kebab shop.

Residents were forced to flee when the Elrasheed takeaway erupted in flames earlier this year.

As crews tackled the blaze at the ground floor shop, officers rushed to clear smoke-filled flats upstairs.

In a second-storey property, they came across a “sophisticated” cannabis growing operation with around 50 plants.

Amazon delivery driver Manuel Quiros appeared at Perth Sheriff Court and admitted his role in the cultivation at the Scott Street flat.

He was jailed for 20 months.

Manuel Quiros, Scott Street fire
Manuel Quiros had a cannabis cultivation in his Perth city centre flat.

Drug dealer John Jackson was snared with a £2,400 bag of street Valium after an undercover sting operation at a rural branch of Subway.

Detectives received a tip-off that the fast food restaurant on the A9 at Balhaldie, north of Dunblane, was being used as a meeting place for those involved in Tayside’s drug trade.

John Jackson, Subway off the A9
John Jackson was caught with drugs at Subway off the A9

Officers swooped on Jackson after he was spotted sitting in a car outside, holding a suspect carrier bag.

He appeared in court in June and admitted being involved in the supply of class C drug Etizolam.


A ‘naive’ drug dealer was caught with a suitcase packed with £10,000 worth of cannabis.

Police recovered the illicit stash when they raided Jamie Hunter’s home in St Madoes.

Jamie Hunter arrives at Perth Sheriff Court.
Jamie Hunter arrives at Perth Sheriff Court.

The 32-year-old restaurant worker admitted being involved in the supply of the class B drug and was jailed.

He tried to play down his role in the region’s drug trade, insisting he was looking after the suitcase for an unnamed friend.

However, Sheriff William Wood questioned suspicious text messages found on phones at the property, along with scales containing traces of drugs and a hand-written price list.

Sex criminals exposed

An important, if grim, part of our job.

A hot tub predator was jailed for sexually assaulting three women at his home in Perthshire.

Daniel Crees
Daniel Crees sexually assaulted women in his hot tub

Daniel Crees preyed on family friends after they climbed into his outdoor jacuzzi during barbecues and birthday parties.

When later confronted about the assaults by his wife of just a few days, the 46-year-old coffee shop boss flew into a violent rage and called his victims “whores”.

Crees was found guilty of four charges of sexual assault against three women at his then-home in Atholl Drive, Stanley, on May 18 and June 22, 2019.

In each case, he touched the women’s private parts, over their swimwear – three times with his foot, and once with his hand.


A Tayside Tesco manager who sent explicit photos to children on social media was spared a prison sentence in September.

Steven Gibson leaves Perth Sheriff Court
Steven Gibson leaves Perth Sheriff Court

Perth paedophile Steven Gibson trawled through Facebook accounts to find young girls in his area and then posed as a child to entice them into a SnapChat group.

The 50-year-old shared obscene images of cartoon Family Guy with the 12 and 13-year-olds and pestered one girl for sex.

His online campaign, which went on for more than four weeks, was reported to police after he shared an image of a naked penis.


A senior Perth and Kinross Council social worker who sexually assaulted a colleague during a church meeting was ordered to pay his victim £500.

Perth childcare specialist George LeBlanc was placed on the Sex Offenders Register in September after he was found guilty of touching a female workmate’s leg under the table.

George LeBlanc, Perth and Kinross Council headquarters
George LeBlanc was a senior social worker at Perth and Kinross Council

The 63-year-old tried to dismiss the incident as a practical joke that was badly received.

“I’m a bit of a joker,” he said at his trial.

LeBlanc, who retired in 2018, was described by his 57-year-old victim as “a good team leader” who became “touchy-feely and inappropriate.”

Drunken misadventures

As with drugs, alcohol frequently plays its part.

Lee Kennedy, Ballathie House Hotel
Kennedy caused havoc at Perthshire’s Ballathie House Hotel

A drunken Rangers fan who tried to steal a boat from a top Perthshire hotel was fined £200 in September.

The escapade at Ballathie House Hotel, near Kinclaven, was dismissed by Perth Sheriff Lindsay Foulis as “just a wee bit of nonsense.”

The court heard how Lee Kennedy, from Onslow Road, Clydebank, was one of three football fans who tried to make off with the vessel after failing to catch their bus home the morning after the Scottish Cup quarter-final between Rangers and Livingston in September 2019.

Kennedy, 30 and fellow supporters Souness Clark and James Clark were spotted on the River Isla, jumping into and between two anchored, motorised fishing boats.


A teenage “vampire” who was hunted down by Perth residents after a sex attack on a young girl was locked up in July.

The semi-naked 17-year-old went on a terrifying rampage through a housing estate in the city’s Muirton area after binge watching a supernatural TV show and downing a cocktail of strong alcoholic drinks.

During the broad daylight assault, he told his terrified victim he was going to drag her into woods and rape her.

The “out of control” teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, roared like an animal and told the girl: “I’m a vampire.”

He was detained for 12 months.


A top chef’s career came to a juddering halt in June after he drunkenly smashed his car into a wall, days after celebrating the launch of his new restaurant at a five-star Perthshire resort.

Simon Kelman
Simon Kelman

Simon Kelman was arrested by police less than a week after the grand opening of his fine dining establishment Monadh, at the luxury Dunalastair Hotel Suites in Kinloch Rannoch.

The 31-year-old head chef was banned from driving for a year and fined £500.

File under ‘eugh’

As they say, there’s nowt queer as folk – and few queerer than appear below.

Raymond Finlay, Braco coffee shop
Raymond Finlay

A peeping Tom pensioner hid a video camera in a Perthshire café bathroom to film customers using the toilet.

Pervert Raymond Finlay concealed the device under a sink at the Braco Coffee Shop.

The 75-year-old filmed several unsuspecting men and women using the facilities, while he sat eating lunch nearby.

He was caught when police reviewed the footage and saw that Finlay and unwittingly filmed himself.


A neighbour-from-hell repeatedly launched faeces-covered toilet paper from a top floor city centre flat, leading to a costly clean-up bill for Perth and Kinross Council.

John Cameron pled guilty to three complaints of hurling soiled loo roll from his former attic flat on Market Street.

John Cameron
John Cameron flung used toilet roll from his window in Perth City Centre.

Cameron was found to have launched “parcels” of bathroom tissue from his windows, to the disgust of neighbours, police and Hillcrest Housing.

Cameron was evicted after repeated breaches and now lives in hotel accommodation in Glasgow.

Ewan Cole
Ewan Cole at Perth Sheriff Court

A wannabe Perth actor who was caught on camera having sex with a German Shepherd dog has been banned from keeping pets.

Police also uncovered a sick cache of child abuse images and extreme pornography when they raided Ewan Cole’s home in Stanley.

Amongst the obscene files appeared to be a home movie of the 20-year-old engaged in sexual activity with a dog.

Cole, who is still advertises his acting talents online, admitted having an “unnatural connection” with the animal when he appeared in the dock.

He also pled guilty to having indecent photos of children between December 12, 2019, and March 3, 2020.

Sheriff William Wood decided against sending Cole to prison, but banned him from keeping pets.

Here’s to 2022.

The full caseload of the Dundee Crime and Courts Team can be found here.

Stalkers, gamblers, sudden deaths and a pie fight — the year in review in Dundee Sheriff Court.

Rogues, robbers, motoring madness and a knobkerrie — The year in review in Fife’s sheriff courts

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