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Friday court round-up — ‘Pantomime’ dispute and a foolish idea

Perth Sheriff Court round-up graphic

The last of the week.

‘Pantomime altercation’

A 54-year-old Fife dog walker punched a driver in the head after he “stumbled” onto the road with his pet and caused him to brake.

Kenneth Baxter, of Balfour Street in Kirkcaldy, admitted assaulting the man at Headwell Avenue in Dunfermline on May 29, 2020.

Procurator fiscal depute Zahra Bhatti told Dunfermline Sheriff Court: “The accused stumbled on to the road with his dog and the complainer, Gregg Clarke, was in the car and had to apply brakes to avoid hitting him or his dog.

“The accused had gone up to Mr Clarke’s vehicle when the window was rolled down and punched him to the face with a closed fist.

“This was observed by a witness and police were called.”

The fiscal depute said the victim suffered a cut below his right eye and a burst nose.

The court heard Baxter had given a different version of events for reports – that the car braked suddenly as he crossed the road and that the driver began shouting abuse at him.

Defence solicitor Elaine Buist said there was a video showing, after the punch, the complainer getting out of the car and an altercation “which is somewhat pantomime” before Baxter and the dog walk away.

Sheriff Charles Macnair deferred sentence until April 27 for the production of a GP report regarding Baxter’s fitness to undertake unpaid work.

Insurance scam bungle

A pillar of Dundee’s community was left in disgrace as he was jailed for a potential £1.75 million insurance scam. Desperate Haroon Bashir set fire to his family printing supplies business in 2018, hoping for the massive pay-out but he was caught on CCTV and arrested.

Haroon Bashir, Fazteck
Haroon Bashir set fire to Fazteck in Dundee.

Drink-driver took taxi to his car

A drunken Fife man who was getting a taxi home after a night out asked the driver to stop so that he could drive himself the rest of the way home.

Louis Crombie appeared at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court to admit driving while unfit through drink or drugs on February 5.

Crombie, of Cook Street in Dysart, had left Methil after a night out got out of hand and he was attacked.

The 23-year-old called a taxi but later instructed the driver to pull over at his car so he could drive himself home.

At 7am, he crashed his Volkswagen Golf into a bollard on Methil High Street.

Fiscal Depute Rachel Hill said: “He appeared to have lost control, striking a bollard and causing a wheel to be ripped from the vehicle.

“15 minutes later, a member of the public discovered the vehicle.”

Police traced joiner Crombie at his home.

Solicitor David Bell said: “He was on a night out and had taken his vehicle through with him.

“He tells me he’d had a lot to drink and that he’d stopped drinking at midnight or half twelve.

“There was then an incident at this house in which he was apparently attacked.

“He called a taxi. He had a very foolish idea.

“He asked the driver to stop.

“He was taken to hospital. For what it’s worth, the reading was 36 mics (the limit is 22).

“It was a foolish decision he regrets.”

Sheriff Timothy Niven-Smith disqualified him for a year and fined him £706.67.

Sexual order breached

Paedophile former bus driver Ronald Young from Forfar has been caught breaching his Sexual Offences Prevention Order. The 68-year-old, who was jailed in 2017 after a vigilante sting, admitted he had been using an illicit mobile phone to message children.

Ronald Young made up an elaborate lie to keep his phone secret.

Unlicensed rifles

A Fife man has been fined £200 after being caught with two air rifles without holding a certificate for the weapons.

Simon McLeod, 44, of Balbedie Avenue in Lochore, admitted the offence, which is contrary to the Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2015.

Dunfermline Sheriff Court heard police officers were alerted by neighbours and found two air weapons during a search at his home in April 2019.

Defence solicitor Elaine Buist said the weapons were old and had been in the loft since before the regulations were introduced.

Sheriff Charles Macnair said it is “pretty well publicised that air rifles need licensing.”

The sheriff also stressed had McLeod applied for an air weapon licence, he would not have got one.

Helped himself

Ballingry man Adam Bett broke through the roof of a shop and helped himself to £400 from the till. The Fifer told Dunfermline Sheriff Court it was because the shopkeeper had earlier been rude and short-changed him.

Premier store, Ballingry, Adam Bett
Adam Bett raided the store in Ballingry through its roof.

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