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Ex-soldier cleared of stealing radios from Perth security firm

Lyndsay Ward
Lyndsay Ward was cleared after a trial at Perth Sheriff Court

A former Black Watch soldier has walked free from court after he was found not guilty of stealing hundreds of pounds worth of radio equipment from a Perth security firm.

Police raided Lyndsey Ward’s home in Cowdenbeath and recovered a box filled with walkie-talkies and other devices owned by his former employees Scottish Communications.

Some of the items were for sale on the 50-year-old’s personal eBay account.

During his trial at Perth Sherff Court, Mr Ward admitted it looked “suspicious” when he deleted sale items from the auction website while police were searching his home.

He explained that he had an agreement with sales manager Donald MacLeod to sell some older stock on eBay, to raise money for the company’s Christmas party.

However, Mr MacLeod told the court he could not recall any such deal.

‘Unblemished character’

Ward, of Gateside Court, was charged with stealing various telecommunications and electronic equipment from Scottish Communication‘s Aaron Road premises between January 1 and May 13, 2019.

Sheriff Craig McSherry found him not guilty after a two-day trial.

He said he doubted the Crown’s case against Ward.

“There is no dispute that these items, which did not belong to the accused, were found at his house,” he said.

“But Mr Ward’s position is that he sold them and gave the cash to Mr MacLeod.”

The sheriff said: “I am persuaded that, given the manner in which Mr Ward gave his evidence and taking into account his record in the army, his otherwise unblemished character and the fact that these items were packaged and in open view in his house, there is a reasonable doubt and I find Mr Ward not guilty.”

Police raid

Ward, now a senior radio frequency engineer at another firm, joined Scottish Communications after serving in the army for 25 years.

In 2019, he told bosses he had found work elsewhere and had decided to leave the company.

He was placed on gardening leave and driven home by Mr MacLeod.

Nine days later, he received a call from his wife at his new workplace.

“She said that the police were at the house,” Ward told the court.

“She said she thought it was about the radios.”

Ward said: “I knew what she meant about the radios but I didn’t know why the police would be there.”

He said he drove home but paused in his car for about 10 minutes before going inside.

He said he deleted the items that were for sale on his eBay account.

Asked by solicitor David Holmes why he did this, Ward replied: “It was the only thing I could think of.

“I wanted to go into the house and tell the police that everything had been sorted out.”

Under cross-examination by fiscal depute Andrew Harding, Ward admitted it maybe looked suspicious.

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