A Dundee odd-job gardener claimed a 79-year-old man offered him an indecent way of earning cash and told jurors: “I pushed him on his a**e.”
Max McCaskill, who once claimed he was jailed for being ginger, was found guilty of assaulting and robbing his 79-year-old victim.
The pensioner, now diagnosed with dementia, was unable to give evidence and had his police statement read to jurors by an officer.
McCaskill claimed, while he had a broken ankle and used crutches, he had been hired by the man to pick weeds from his gravel for £20.
HMP Perth inmate McCaskill, 37, told jurors his victim had offered more money for sexual favours.
McCaskill said he pushed him down and only took the agreed-upon banknote for the gardening work.
Two versions of events
Jurors heard evidence McCaskill had approached the 79-year-old as he left his home on February 28 2021 and asked if he could cut a hedge.
The pensioner declined the complete stranger’s request but McCaskill then asked for money – again declined – to put petrol in a mower.
McCaskill pushed his way into the Glenmoy Avenue house and took a bowl full of pound coins.
A neighbour heard the householder shout “I’m being robbed”.
However, in the witness box McCaskill laid an entirely different version of events.
He said he had been cold calling and agreed a £20 fee to weed the garden.
McCaskill said, despite having a broken ankle, this only took him an hour.
“It’s only weeding,” he told fiscal depute Trina Sinclair.
“You’re sitting on your bum, it’s no’ very hard.”
He explained the man did not have cash so he returned later to collect his pay.
“He had the £20 in his hand.
“He asked if I… want to make any money.
“I pushed him on his a**e. I took the money that I was owed.
“He was asking us to do sexual favours. He was exposing himself.”
After a two day trial at Dundee Sheriff Court, the majority of jurors found McCaskill guilty of assault and robbery.
They agreed McCaskill repeatedly pushed the man on the body and robbed him.
McCaskill was on bail at the time.
Solicitor Ian Houston said his client only had one conviction for violence, from 2005, which resulted in a sentence of 100 hours unpaid work.
He told Sheriff Jillian Martin-Brown: “He, needless to say, had a drug addiction problem.
“That is currently under control.
“He’s on a daily prescription of a drug substitute.
“His instructions to me are to invite your Ladyship to impose a custodial sentence, backdated to January 2 (when he was arrested).”
Sheriff Martin-Brown ordered reports and said: “Mr McCaskill’s offending has obviously increased in severity, such that he has assaulted and robbed a vulnerable 79-year-old.”
He will be sentenced on October 20 after social workers consider any need for post-release supervision and remains on remand.
Previously behind bars
McCaskill hit headlines 11 years ago when he spent two weeks in jail in connection with charges, which were dropped.
He had been accused of stealing games console controllers from a shop in Dundee but was more than 100 miles away on the day of the alleged crime.
He later said he had been arrested just for being ginger-haired, as police had sought a suspect with red hair in connection with the thefts.