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Tuesday court round-up — Testosterone and war hero

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A drug addict who threatened a female shop assistant at knife point while demanding £50 was jailed for 27 months.

Ben Haswell, 30, walked into the shop in Glenrothes with his hood up and a blue surgical mask covering his face.

He presented a knife at the woman and demanded she hand over cash, then fled when she shouted for her brother, who also worked in the store.

Solicitor Danielle Stringer, defending, said Haswell had a “significant” drug problem and was living in homeless accommodation at the time.

Haswell, a prisoner at Perth, admitted assaulting and attempting to rob the woman at G&D Hotchkiss newsagents on February 10 last year.

Catfishing ‘prostitute’

A Dundee woman created an online profile as a prostitute so she could catfish married clients and blackmail them into sending her cash. Lauren Hunt, 24, emptied the accounts of two victims after threatening to expose them to friends and family if they did not pay up.

Lauren Hunt.
Lauren Hunt. Image: Facebook.

Hero took on ‘trouble-maker’

A war hero who admitted assaulting a “trouble-maker” outside a Perthshire pub has been given a chance to avoid punishment.

Black Watch veteran Sam Morgan was caught on CCTV punching Gary Dobbin in a Blairgowrie car park.

Perth Sheriff Court was shown surveillance footage of the 40-year-old charity champion knocking Mr Dobbin to the ground, while stunned revellers looked on.

Fiscal depute Rebecca Kynaston said the victim was taken to hospital by ambulance and was treated for a sore head.

Morgan, of Croft Lane, Blairgowrie, pled guilty to the assault in William Street on February 20 last year.

Sam Morgan.

Solicitor David Holmes said: “On this occasion, the complainer had been causing trouble at a nearby pub, not just to the accused but to other people as well.

“Mr Morgan had taken offence at some of the things he had been saying.”

The solicitor said: “He made reference to the accused’s place of birth, England, and made a comment about his sexuality, incorrectly so.”

The court heard Morgan had served with The Black Watch in Iraq and Afghanistan.

During a tour of Afghanistan in 2009, he was in a heavily armoured Mastiff vehicle that drove over a landmine, sending him 15-feet into the air.

The incident ended his career in the Army as his right leg had to be amputated below the kneecap and replaced with a prosthetic limb.

Sheriff Gordon Fleetwood deferred sentence for six months to give Morgan the chance to prove he can stay out of trouble.

He was told if he behaves, he will not have to return to court for sentencing in August.

Paedophile’s prison plea

A terminally ill paedophile is maintaining he should stay out of jail because his cancer consultant has branded prison healthcare facilities “basic” and questioned whether prison transport can get him to regular medical appointments. Former NHS psychiatric nurse Duncan Trueland, 66, formerly of Dundee, is facing at least 12 months in prison and would likely die of bladder and lung cancer before he was freed.

Duncan Trueland, left, in 2013 and, right, outside Aberdeen Sheriff Court last month.
Duncan Trueland, left, in 2013 and, right, outside Aberdeen Sheriff Court last month. Image: DC Thomson.

Police struggle

An Angus driver who was pulled over with a bald tyre ended up scrapping with police and pulling officers onto an A92 slip road.

Colin McIntyre, from Carnoustie, was sentenced at Forfar Sheriff Court after he lost his temper on March 4 2021.

Police had signalled to stop and he pulled in at the B962 slip road, near Ardestie at 11.35pm.

Officers suggested he may be driving while intoxicated – he was not – and the angry 35-year-old began to struggle with them.

They all fell to the ground and spent time lying on the slip road.

McIntyre was eventually brought under control and when his car was searched, small quantities of cannabis and cannabis resin were found.

Solicitor Nick Whelan said: “I think perhaps there had been a bit of testosterone.

“His driving was not impaired. He was required to undertake a drug swipe.

“He thinks the police officers have tried to set him up. He hadn’t taken any drugs.”

He said his client had a back injury and was in pain.

McIntyre admitted culpably and recklessly pulling police onto the road and kicking them and was ordered to complete 70 hours unpaid work.

Sheriff Krista Johnston said: “This could have been a horrible incident – an even more horrible incident.

“You did make an absolute meal out of what might have been a fixed penalty situation.”

For the bald tyre offence, McIntyre was fined £100 and issued three penalty points and he was fined £210 for drug possession.

Whinging killer

Whinging Dundee double murderer and rapist Andrew Innes complained during his trial he was not getting a good night’s sleep at HMP Perth. Innes went on hunger strike after he was put on suicide watch and moaned the guards kept waking him so he was tired in court during his five-day trial.

Troon Avenue murderer Andrew Innes.

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