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Kirkcaldy bomb threat prisoner mistakenly released from custody

Vina Negru was on the run for 12 days after walking out of Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court.

Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court.
McLellan was found guilty at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court.

A prisoner accused of abduction and extortion – and accidentally released from remand – went on to make chilling bomb threats at a Fife gym before he was re-caught.

Vina Negru was on the run for 12 days in October last year after walking out of Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court.

He was being held in prison in relation to the serious charges but had been brought back to court for a different allegation, which was dropped that same day and he walked free.

It is understood no warrant was issued for his arrest following the blunder and was he only apprehended after threatening to blow up a Kirkcaldy gym nearly a fortnight later, on October 14 2022.

Negru was arrested for threats and assault at Gym 64 in Kirkcaldy. Image: Google.

Following his re-arrest, Negru, 28, appeared in court accused of making the threats and the original charges of abducting and assaulting a man in a bid to extort £50,000.

Investigations under way

At his most recent appearance, on May 22, it emerged the Barlinnie prisoner had been released in error after appearing at court in October last year.

Fiscal depute Douglas Thomson said following a court appearance in which the case against the accused was dropped, he was “erroneously released”.

He said: “He spent 12 days in the community when he should have been remanded on petition.

“He joined a local gym and following the incident in the other matter (threats to gym staff) he was arrested.”

Solicitor David Bell, defending, said having been released from the court cells, Romanian Negru “didn’t know any better and left”.

Negru should have been returned to prison.

It is understood paperwork given to the company responsible for transporting prisoners between the court and jail, GeoAmey, indicated he was free to be released.

A spokesperson said: “The custody was released in accordance with GeoAmey standard operating procedures and the supporting documentation provided.”

A spokesman for the Scottish Prison Service said it is investigating the incident.

He said: “Any incident in which an individual in our care is liberated in error is reported to Police Scotland for investigation.

“We will also investigate and take on board all and any learning to ensure our processes are robust.”

A spokeswoman for Police Scotland confirmed they had re-apprehended Negru following the incident at the gym at around 6pm on Friday October 14 2022, after “a report of threatening and abusive behaviour at a premises on Esplanade, Kirkcaldy”.

A spokesman for the Scottish Court and Tribunal Service added that they are also investigating.

He said: “Together with justice partners we are fully investigating the circumstances around this release.”


Blunder timeline:

  • Remanded on relation to abduction and attempted extortion allegations
  • October 2 2022 – brought to court from custody on unrelated, undisclosed matter and accidentally released when it was dropped.
  • October 14 2022 – recaptured after threatening to blow up Kirkcaldy gym and assaulting its manager.
  • May 22 2022 – appears from custody to plead guilty to various offences and mistaken release is revealed.
  • June 30 2022 – due at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court for sentencing.

Gym threats

The court was told some details about his latest offence.

Negru was asked to leave Gym 64 on the town’s Esplanade due to his “bizarre” behaviour but became “irate” and threatened to blow up the premises, before punching the manager in the face.

He admitted behaving in a threatening manner towards gym staff and assaulting the manager.

He further admitted domestic abuse against his partner and abuse of a nurse.

Not guilty pleas to the abduction, assault and breaching bail were accepted by the Crown.

Mr Bell said Negru had stopped taking medication for his mental health issues prior to the offences.

He conceded the threats would have caused alarm to those who heard them.

He confirmed Negru has restarted his medication since being remanded in prison.

Negru will be sentenced later this month.

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