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Tuesday court round-up — The SIMs (Perth Prison expansion pack)

Perth Sheriff Court round-up graphic

A third Perth prisoner has admitted using an illegal SIM card in his cell.

Liam Hargreaves, who was recently jailed for his role in a “cowardly” Dundee stabbing, was caught with the device in May 2021, Perth Sheriff Court heard.

Fiscal depute Brian Kermode said prison officers were called to his cell following reports two inmates were under the influence.

They found Hargreaves’ prison-issued mobile phone.

“The seal at the back was broken,” said Mr Kermode. “The SIM card was found inside.”

Hargreaves, 22, appeared via video link and pleaded guilty to having a communications device behind bars.

Solicitor Paul Ralph, defending, said this was his client’s first significant prison sentence.

Perth Prison
Perth Prison

Hargreaves, along with accomplices Ian Eghan and Dee Burke, were jailed last month for an attack on 20-year-old Jahmyles Hyndes in Dundee’s Cleghorn Street.

He was sentenced to four years and two months.

Sheriff William Wood told him: “The possession of a SIM card in prison is an offence the courts take very seriously.

“I am satisfied that a custodial sentence is appropriate.”

Hargreaves was jailed for two months – however, the sentence will run alongside with his current jail term, meaning his release date is unaffected.

Yesterday, we told that Fife firearms thief Sean Barclay was also caught with an illicit SIM in his state-issued mobile.

Sean Barclay
Sean Barclay

He had his sentence extended by eight months.

And last week, Dundee dealer Kurt De’Cruz was also locked up for another eight months for having a SIM card in his cell.

Kurt De'Cruz
Kurt De’Cruz

It is the third time the inmate has been caught with a communications device.

Prisoners across Scotland were issued with mobile phones during the first Covid-19 lockdown.

The aim was to help them stay in touch with family and close friends, while prison visits were banned.

But many inmates complained that the state-issued phones were too restrictive, allowing for only a limited number of contacts and calls.

Raging Bull

A “raging bull” teenager who made violent threats to residents in a Blairgowrie street has been warned to stay out of trouble.

The 17-year-old lost her temper with women in Coralbank Crescent in October 2021, telling them: “You will pay the price for this.”

Perth Sheriff Court heard the teen had asked them if they had seen her mother.

But when they replied that they didn’t know, she became aggressive.

Fiscal depute Andrew Harding said the accused, who cannot be named for legal reasons, went away and came back a short time later.

“One witness described her as being like a raging bull,” he said.

“She was shouting and screaming.”

The teen used insults like “prostitute” and “mongo” and told the women: “I’ll do you in.”

Solicitor Steven Lafferty, defending, said his client was concerned about her mother’s welfare.

“She knows that her behaviour was completely unacceptable,” he said.

The teen pleaded guilty to behaving in a threatening or abusive manner, likely to cause fear or alarm.

Sheriff Francis Gill deferred sentence for four months to give her the chance to prove she can stay out of trouble.

Shoeless and cashless

A shoeless crook held-up a Dundee Co-Op with a screwdriver for tobacco and a lighter.

Nicholas McKenzie, 42, carried out his raid early one morning last December, just as the Brook Street store had opened.

Nicholas McKenzie
Nicholas McKenzie

He told the shop worker, Luke Hibbart, he would be taking the cash from his register, as he flashed the hilt of a blue item from inside his sleeve.

Although he believed it to be a knife, brave Mr Hibbart closed the till and the door to the cash desk area, preventing McKenzie getting any money.

McKenzie took the tobacco and lighter without paying and left the shop.

He was traced by police around an hour later, shoeless, covered in mud and badly injured.

Read the full story here.

Costly shopping trip

A learner driver took his partner’s car for a 10 minute trip to the shops.

John Barrie did not have permission to take the vehicle and was stopped by police.

Routine checks revealed the 34-year-old only held a provisional licence and was uninsured.

At Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court, Barrie, of Lothian Court, Glenrothes, admitted taking the vehicle from his home address on May 11 last year.

He further admitted driving without insurance and on a provisional licence on Roxburgh Road.

A charge of driving dangerously by mounting a pavement to drive around a stationary bus was accepted.

Solicitor Dewar Spence, defending, said Barrie had been on the way to the shops.

He added that Barrie’s partner, who owned the car, had given him a “talking to” following the incident.

Sheriff Ian Anderson handed Barrie seven penalty points and fined him £540.

Drug recovery

A 31-year-old Kirkcaldy man was caught with about £350 worth of cannabis at his home.

Mark Reid, of the town’s Links Street, pled guilty to being concerned in the supply of the class B drug on January 7 last year.

Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court heard the cannabis was divided into bags of different quantities and that the total value was about £350.

Sheriff Timothy Niven-Smith deferred sentence until May 27 for background reports.

Careless drive after exhausting shift

An overworked GP has been fined for driving too slowly along the A90.

Exhausted locum Jing Liu caused congestion when he travelled home after a “non-stop” day of treating patients and making house calls.

Dr Jing Liu
Dr Jing Liu admitted careless driving on the A90, near Glencarse

Liu, who is due to begin work at a surgery in Newburgh, appeared at Perth Sheriff Court on Tuesday and pleaded guilty to driving carelessly on the dual carriageway, near Glencarse, on June 3, last year.

He admitted driving his Nissan Juke without due care and attention, repeatedly overtaking vehicles and driving alongside them in the outside lane, causing an obstruction and preventing other vehicles from overtaking.

His solicitor told the court he was tired after dealing with around 60 patients earlier that day.

Read the full story here.

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