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Thursday court round-up — Paedophile blames Covid death stress

A round-up of court cases from Tayside and Fife.

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A Dundee man has admitted acting abusively by urinating inside a city property.

Scott Cuthbert appeared at Dundee Sheriff Court to admit acting in a manner likely to cause fear or alarm on August 26.

He acted in an aggressive manner towards his partner and another female by repeatedly urinating within the property at Haddington Avenue.

Cuthbert, listed as residing at Dundee’s Salvation Army and on bail; at the time, then made offensive remarks, shouted and swore at the pair.

63-year-old Cuthbert also admitted assaulting the second woman by seizing her by the neck and attempting to strike her.

Solicitor Kevin Hampton said Cuthbert suffers from an alcohol addiction and has recently spent time in Murray Royal hospital.

Sheriff Eric Brown deferred sentencing until October 10 for reports.

Ninewells abuse

A drunk from Cupar sexually assaulted two Ninewells nurses and told a third she had “a cracking pair of t**s” while he was in for treatment. Scott Wilson appeared at Dundee Sheriff Court where he was placed on the Sex Offenders Register, pending sentencing.

Scott Wilson
Scott Wilson at Dundee Sheriff Court.

Covid stress blamed

A Fife man who blamed stress after his father’s death from Covid-19 for downloading more than 200 child sexual abuse images has been jailed for a year and placed on the Sex Offenders Register for a decade.

Duncan Cowan, 47, accessed the sick material, featuring girls thought to be as young as three, over a period of three months.

Dunfermline Sheriff Court heard it is Cowan’s second offence of this nature, after a previous conviction almost 20 years ago.

He appeared in court for sentencing, having previously admitted downloading indecent photographs of children between November 23 2021 and February 21 last year.

Sheriff Charles Macnair told him: “The most worrying aspect… is that it’s not a first offence.”

Duncan Cowan
Duncan Cowan.

The court heard previously Cowan, a credit risk manager at the time of his second offence, was found to have 239 still images – some of the most graphic kind – and a single minute-long video on his mobile phone.

In court this week, defence lawyer Aime Allan said Cowan’s father had died during the pandemic and this had a “significant impact on him and his levels of stress”.

The solicitor said Cowan began viewing legal pornography and this led to him accessing the child abuse material.

Ms Allan said Cowan had not accessed the illegal material during the 20-year gap in offending and has re-engaged with the Stop It Now organisation.

Caught by decoy

A 30-year-old Fife man sent a barrage of sexually explicit messages to a person he thought was a 13-year-old girl. But Matthew Grigg, from Burntisland, was actually communicating online with an adult paedophile hunter.

Matthew Grigg
Matthew Grigg will be sentenced later.

Perthshire police pursuit

A BMW driver who fled on foot after a dramatic 110mph police chase in rural Perthshire has been fined £1720 and banned from driving for three years.

At Perth Sheriff Court, farm manager Gareth Niven, 31, previously admitted driving dangerously and without insurance on the A923 Blairgowrie to Coupar Angus road and an unclassified stretch between Rosemount and Parkhead on August 21 2022.

He was first spotted by police at a static check near Coupar Angus, travelling at 89mph.

One officer stepped into the roadway indicating he should stop, which he initially did, before turning and making off towards Blairgowrie, followed by the police.

Gareth Niven
Gareth Niven.

Fiscal depute Stephanie Hendry said: “Officers reached speeds in excess of 110mph, prior to entering Blairgowrie, without closing the gap sufficiently to read the accused’s vehicle’s number plate.”

The fiscal depute said Niven, of Motray Crescent, Guardbridge, accelerated east but as police closed on him, he eventually braked hard and jumped from the vehicle while it was still moving.

Police chased after the car on foot and stopped it from travelling further down the road.

A passenger identified Niven as the driver.

DJ jailed

Former hospital radio DJ David Moran was jailed for six years for using his “glamorous lifestyle” to groom and abuse young boys. Moran, who also DJ’d for the Kingdom’s ice hockey team Fife Flyers, showed the children pornography, before committing sex acts more than three decades ago at his former home.

David Moran, Edinburgh High Court
David Moran was jailed at the High Court in Edinburgh. Image: Police Scotland.

Accused acquitted

An Angus man has been cleared of allegations he raped a woman in Forfar when she was intoxicated and asleep.

After a two-day trial before Lord Fairley at the High Court in Dundee, the charge against James Gray was found not proven by a jury.

48-year-old Gray was alleged to have assaulted a woman – who cannot be named for legal reasons  – on January 5 or 6 in 2021.

James Gray
James Gray was acquitted.

The charge stated that while she was intoxicated, asleep and unable to consent, he removed her lower clothing and raped her at a property in Forfar.

Gray, of Thornton Park in Forfar, was acquitted following the majority verdict.

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