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Thursday court round-up — Angus football club thief and black market drug peddler

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

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A Forfar football coach has admitted stealing hundreds of pounds from the kids’ team he was in charge of.

Darren McDonald was not present at Forfar Sheriff Court when his solicitor Ross Donnelly admitted the theft on his behalf.

McDonald, 36, admitted that at Forfar Athletic Community Football Club on August 29 in 2021, he stole £380.

At the time, McDonald coached the 2009s team and was in charge of money relating to the squad.

He had initially been charged with embezzlement but admitted an alternative charge of theft.

Sheriff Krista Johnston deferred sentencing for McDonald, of Craig O’Loch Road in Forfar, to be personally present.

Heart medicine theft

A black market drug peddler from Dundee has been jailed for seven months.

Steven Mitchell appeared at the city’s sheriff court via a video link from HMP Perth to be sentenced, having admitted resetting dishonestly-acquired heart medication.

Mitchell previously admitted that on October 27 this year, he reset five boxes of Digoxin, a medication used to treat heart failure and erratic heart rhythms.

On the same occasion, he also reset a laptop.

35-year-old Mitchell, of Taits Lane in Dundee, has been on remand since October 30.

Mitchell appeared at Dundee Sheriff Court

Imposing a backdated prison sentence, Sheriff Gregor Murray told him: “You have a dreadful record.

“This was only six months after your release (from prison).

“I appreciate you pled to reset but the nature of the property that was taken and where it was taken from I suspect is not lost on you.”

Ex-headteacher’s £650k legal fight

The former headteacher of a Perthshire special needs school that closed suddenly in 2018 has launched a £650,000 legal action against the Care Inspectorate, claiming “substantial damage” to his reputation and loss of earnings.

The independent New School Butterstone, near Dunkeld, shut with just a few days’ warning, leaving all 24 vulnerable students in the lurch and 50 people out of work.

A Scottish Government-backed inquiry in 2020 ruled that the school closed after a potential buyer pulled out.

Former headteacher Bill Colley

The Witherslack Group abandoned its take-over bid after losing confidence in senior staff following concerns about child protection and spiralling money problems, the probe concluded.

Now the school’s head Bill Colley, who described the inquest as a “shameful whitewash” and says he was made a scapegoat, has served papers upon the Care Inspectorate, claiming the body “acted unlawfully” against him “with recklessness and malicious intent”.

The Courier can today reveal that he is seeking a decree of £648,950 – his estimated lost earnings from January 2019 until his planned retirement in June 2028.

In his initial writ, Mr Colley claims the Care Inspectorate caused “substantial damage” to his reputation which impacted his ability to earn a living.

Angela Gordon, the school’s former head of care, is taking similar legal action against the Dundee-based authority.

Full story here.

April Fool driver

A 77-year-old Fife man has been fined £560 and banned from the road for 16 months after admitting drink driving.

George Fyfe previously pled guilty to driving on various roads in Rosyth, Kelty and elsewhere in Fife with excess alcohol in his system (100 mics/22) on April 1 last year.

He appeared at Dunfermline Sheriff Court for sentencing.

Procurator fiscal depute Catherine Stevenson told the court that Fyfe was drinking alcohol with a woman at her home and she had offered to phone a taxi for him to get home.

Fyfe instead grabbed his car keys and got into his vehicle and the woman saw him drive away from her home in Cromwell Road, Rosyth.

Police were called and officers went to Fyfe’s home in Union Street, Kelty, and saw his car parked in the driveway.

He was arrested in the early hours of the morning after returning a positive breath test.

Defence lawyer Aime Allan said Fyfe accepts he had consumed alcohol before driving the vehicle but drank more once he returned home.

Sheriff Charles Macnair said: “This was a high reading and, of course, was taken many hours after you had been driving”.

The sheriff fined him and imposed a disqualification, which is backdated to November 30.

Slip-up after pub assault

A teenager who attacked a woman in a Fife pub slipped on ice as he tried to escape police, a court has heard.

Owen Waterson assaulted his victim at the Foresters Arms, Aberdour, on December 2.

Shocked revellers saw the woman lying on the ground of the smoking area, with blood coming from one eye.

Owen Waterson appeared at Dunfermline Sheriff Court

The 19-year-old then resisted, obstructed or hindered four police constables in nearby Shore Road as they tried to arrest him.

During a scuffle, he repeatedly pulled his arms away in an attempt to prevent handcuffs being applied, Dunfermline Sheriff Court was told.

Full story here.

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