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Tuesday court round-up — Prisoner out of hot water

Court round-up graphic

Tuesday’s round-up of the action at our local courts.

Prisoner out of hot water

A Perth prisoner with a history of violence has been cleared of viciously assaulting another inmate with a kettle.

Gary McGuinness was accused of attacking Terry Barr in the jail’s C-Hall on December 20, 2020.

It was alleged the 27-year-old threw a kettle of hot water over his head, to his injury.

McGuinness, who was previously jailed for a knife attack on a shopkeeper, denied the charge when he went on trial at Perth Sheriff Court.

HMP Perth
Perth Prison

Prison officer Mark Guthrie, 33, told the trial he heard a commotion in a corner of the hall.

He said he then saw Mr Barr with red marks on his face.

“He said he had fallen in his cell,” said Mr Guthrie.

Afterwards, he was told Barr had asked a nurse for something to treat burns.

“I thought that something had potentially happened so I asked to see CCTV of the hall,” Mr Guthrie said.

The recording, shown in court, captured the moment Mr Barr had a liquid thrown in his face.

However, the person responsible was off-camera and could not be identified.

After Mr Guthrie’s evidence, fiscal depute Joanne Ritchie confirmed the Crown was no longer seeking a conviction.

Sheriff Gillian Wade formally acquitted McGuiness.

McGuinness was previously jailed for five years for attempting to murder a shopkeeper in Paisley in September 2011.

He was locked up again for 26 months in 2019, after he was found in a Johnstone sandwich shop armed with a metal baton.

Serial offender Barr was jailed in June for heroin and Valium-fuelled attacks in Dundee.

On one occasion, he exposed himself to police officers on Reform Street and told them: “F***ing look at this.”

Punch drunk

Trained Fife boxer Ian Cockburn was told he had narrowly avoided a prison sentence for blinding a friend in one eye during a three-day drink and drugs binge. Cockburn, 33, punched his pal in the face, despite knowing he had a serious eye condition.

Ian Cockburn, Headwell Avenue, Dunfermline Sheriff Court
Ian Cockburn blinded his friend in one eye during the binge on Headwell Avenue.

Death petition

A Dundee man has been accused of causing the death of another by kicking him down a flight of stairs in the city centre.

Ian Higgins, 32, is alleged to have kicked Andrew Cox on the body on January 6 this year, which caused him to fall down a set of steps in Forester Street.

Mr Cox died just over a week later in Ninewells as a result of his injuries.

Forester Street, Dundee
The assault is alleged to have happened on Forester Street.

Higgins, of Fairfield Road, appeared at Dundee Sheriff Court on petition.

The charge states Mr Cox struck his head on the ground whereby he was so severely injured he died at Ninewells Hospital on January 14.

He made no plea and was granted bail following a short hearing.

Drug dealers foiled

A drugs gang’s attempt to flood Perth with heroin was foiled by months of police surveillance and ended with three men convicted of drug dealing.

Max Donovan, a Hermes delivery driver from Liverpool and Perth man George Crone, appeared in court and admitted being involved in the supply of heroin at locations around the city.

Max Donovan, Oakbank Road sign
Max Donovan was one of three drug dealers convicted. He was caught on Oakbank Road.

Blayne Gray, also from Liverpool, pled guilty and will appear next month.

All three were caught with drugs and thousands of pounds in cash.

Distressed 12-year-old called police after Fife man, 26, said on Snapchat he would ‘rape her’

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

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