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Fife man ranted while holding a knife weeks before killing stepfather

Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court, Fife
Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court.

A Fife killer has admitted waving a knife and threatening his partner and her ex weeks before he killed his stepfather.

Dale Berwick ranted at the couple in Delgatie Avenue in Glenrothes, before hitting their car with a knife.

Berwick, previously of Uist Place in Glenrothes had been drinking but at that time, had never been in trouble with the law before.

The 30-year-old appeared from custody this week to admit acting threateningly and possessing the knife.

He was sentenced to 18 months in prison, to run concurrently with his current jail term.

‘Peanut butter’ knife

Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court was told Berwick terrified his then-partner when he plucked a kitchen knife with a fixed handle and three-inch blade from a drawer on November 20, 2020.

Fiscal depute Jamie Hilland said: “He was told to put the knife down.

“The accused started pacing up and down, shouting and swearing.”

His drunken behaviour spilled outside and when the woman’s ex-partner arrived by car, Berwick began striking the roof of the vehicle with the weapon.

Police were called and traced Berwick in a nearby street.

They searched him and when officers found the knife in his pocket, Berwick said: “I was just using it for peanut butter.”

After being detained, he said: “I know I had a knife in my pocket.

“It was only because my ex was threatening me.

“I believe I was out of order.”

‘Knocked down’ by car

Berwick’s solicitor Iain McCafferty said his client had become further angered when he was knocked to the ground by the man’s car upon leaving the building.

Mr McCafferty explained a CCTV doorbell captured Berwick being knocked to the ground by the car as it pulled into a parking space.

He said Berwick’s relationship “was in its final throes” and he was being medicated.

“He’s somebody who historically suffered from depression and anxiety.

“I think it’s fair to say by the time (the man) came around, his blood was up.”

Sentencing

Sheriff James Williamson explained he had to sentence Berwick as a first offender because the crime predated the later culpable homicide.

Prior to this incident, he had never been in trouble with the law.

The sheriff said: “At the time, you were a man aged 29 with no previous convictions and previously of good work ethic.”

Killed stepfather

Three months after the knife offence, Berwick killed his stepfather after he tried to reason with him.

Berwick fatally punched and kicked Thomas Adams, 65, at the family home on Uist Road, Glenrothes, on February 20 after moving back in, having struggled with a love split.

He was sentenced to five years and a month behind bars.

Dale Berwick killed his stepfather Thomas Adams (pictured).
Thomas Adams.

A court heard he was consuming £200 worth of cocaine a week at the time of the attack.

His lawyer said a “well-meant” pep talk by Mr Adams eventually resulted in violence.

Then a first offender Berwick was jailed at High Court in Glasgow after admitting a culpable homicide charge.

Lady Stacey told him: “You tried to deal with the break-up by taking the wrong turn.

“Your mum and stepdad tried to help you as they could see the whole thing was having a bad effect on you.

“However, it all ended in tragedy and it was down to your violent act.”

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