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Friday court round-up — VAT fraud boss and prison phones

Court-round-up graphic

The end -of-week-round-up.

VAT fraud boss

The boss of a Perthshire property firm has admitted falsifying paperwork to cheat the taxman out of thousands of pounds.

Businessman Robert MacGregor pled guilty to a VAT fraud scam, which conned HM Revenue and Customs into paying him just under £43,150.

The 51-year-old submitted fraudulent tax returns, falsified invoices and invoices which didn’t relate to legitimate business expenses.

The scam took place between July 1, 2016, and August 21, 2017, when he was sole director of Gleneagles Homes Ltd and Gleneagles Services Ltd.

The 51-year-old, of Brookfield House, Blackford, also admitted trying to dupe HMRC into paying him a further £37,085 between March 1 and August 21, 2017.

McGregor was released on bail and will be sentenced on January 26.

Not guilty of abuse allegations

Adam Weir from Aberfeldy man walked free from court after he was found not guilty of an alleged campaign of abuse.

Weir went on trial at Perth Sheriff Court, accused of assaulting his partner after she revealed she was pregnant.

The 37-year-old faced allegations he attacked her and threatened violence towards her unborn child in March 2008.

Weir was further accused of assaulting a young child and causing unnecessary suffering to a dog on Aberfeldy Golf Course by punching it on the head, causing it to collapse.

After three days of evidence, jurors took 90 minutes to find Weir not guilty of six of the eight charges he faced.

Two allegations that he made derogatory remarks to children were found not proven.

Two further charges alleging  Weir had acting in a threatening manner and broke a bail condition were dropped by prosecutors.

Weir, of Churchill Court, had denied all charges throughout the trial.

He told jurors he never assaulted his then-girlfriend but he admitted telling her of the baby: “I think you should get rid of it.”

Weir had refuted allegations he hit the couple’s dog, Scruff, during a day out in April or May 2020.

He said he grabbed the dog’s lead, but never struck the animal.

Sheriff Euan Duthie told Mr Weir he was free to go after the remote jury delivered its majority verdict.

Adam Weir was cleared of all charges

Crash injury allegation

A 73-year-old woman was allegedly left seriously injured following a head-on smash in Fife.

Prosecutors allege Muzumal Bashir, 23, was responsible for causing the crash on the A91 Main Road, Gateside, on June 14 this year.

Bashir is accused of causing serious injury to Joan Kyle, then aged 73, through dangerous driving.

He is said to have driven into the opposing lane and into the path of the vehicle driven by the pensioner.

She was allegedly left with serious injury after Bashir collided with her car.

It is alleged both vehicles were damaged as a result.

Bashir, of Meikle Crescent, Hamilton, made no plea when he appeared on petition at Dundee Sheriff Court.

He was released on bail by Sheriff John Rafferty after the case was continued for further examination.

Car chase drugs case

Habitual offender Connor McLeod, dubbed ‘Spider-ned’, was caught munching illicit Valium after police brought a high-speed chase to an end using a stinger device. He and car driver Robert Traynor were caught with thousands of pounds of the drug and heroin in their car after the chase from Kinross to Inchture.

Robert Traynor (top) and Connor McLeod, were involved in a high speed police chase along the A90 and M90.

Caught with phone – again

A thug jailed for a horror knife attack in Arbroath has been caught with an illegal phone at Perth Prison for a second time.

Sean Dempsey complained that he needed the unauthorised device because his state-issued mobile was broken.

And he said the banned phone was out of order too and was “held together by nicotine patches”.

Perth Sheriff Court heard officers caught Dempsey, 39, with the mobile during a routine check of his cell.

Perth Prison

Dempsey, representing himself from prison via a video link, told Sheriff Gregor Murray: “If it wasn’t for the pandemic, I would be able to get the emotional support I need from my family.

“But the phone given to me by the prison was faulty. I couldn’t get a signal or anything.

“I got the other phone but that was broken too. It was held together by nicotine patches.”

He said: “This pandemic has caused a full mental breakdown. I’ve been really struggling.”

Dempsey appeared at the same court in October 2020, and admitted he had an illicit phone kept in his cell cupboard.

On that occasion, he was imprisoned for four months but the sentence ran alongside the four-and-a-half year term he is serving for assault.

This time, Sheriff Murray added a further four months to his sentence.

Dempsey was found guilty following trial of – alongside co-accused William Black – stabbing Frankie Melvin on the leg in Sidney Street, Arbroath.

Dog destroyed

A pit bull which attacked another dog in Fife was destroyed despite an examination deeming it “timid and afraid”. The dog was found to be a banned breed after the attack, unknown to owner Natalie Jackson from Rosyth. She was convicted of being in charge of the dog when it was dangerously out of control.

Natalie Jackson, a pit bull
Natalie Jackson was fined. The dog (like the one pictured) was destroyed.

Racist abuse

An Arbroath man has admitted racially abusing a neighbour.

Adrian Palmer pled guilty to acting in a racially aggravated manner in the town’s Cliffview Court.

He admitted to shouting and swearing at James Mulubwa on September 7, calling the man a “black b*****d.”

Forfar Sheriff Court heard the matter was reported to police by social workers, who overheard the unprompted exchange.

Palmer, 64, did not attend court personally due to mobility issues and has been excused attendance at his sentencing hearing on January 27.

His solicitor Billy Rennie said Palmer could not recall the incident.

“He’s still friends with the complainer,” Mr Rennie said.

“They still speak daily.

“On the face of it, it seems to be harmonious.”

Sheriff Jillian Martin-Brown deferred sentencing for reports.

In case you missed it…

Thursday round-up — Aviva embezzler and forecourt thief

Wednesday round-up — Chisel and knife attack charges

Tuesday round-up — ‘Just jail me’

Monday round-up — House of Horrors embezzlement charge

Spurned stalker placed tracker on married Dundee man’s car and sent sex video to his wife

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

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