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Friday court round-up — Tag tamperer and Chelsea smile thug breach

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

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A perverted former NHS worker from Fife has been sentenced after sending sick pictures to what he thought was a 12-year-old girl.

Eric Walls previously admitted trying to communicate indecently with a child for almost three months.

From his former home in Cardenden, the 55-year-old engaged in sick chat with what he believed was a girl called Darcy.

In reality, he was sending filth to a veteran vigilante online paedophile hunter.

Eric Walls
Eric Walls at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court.

Walls, now of Johnston’s Close in St Monans, was placed under supervision for two years and on the Sex Offenders Register for as long.

He must also complete the Moving Forward: Making Changes programme aimed at rehabilitating sex offenders.

Murderer’s social worker assault

A Dundee murderer launched a “frightening” homophobic attack on a social worker at Perth Prison. Owen Kerr was just 17 when he knifed man Andrew Tosh in October 1998 and was jailed for life. Now 42, he admitted committing the assault because he thought he had been laughed at as post-prison arrangements were discussed.

Owen Kerr, the Bowbridge Bar, Dundee.
Owen Kerr (pictured) was jailed for murdering Andrew Tosh outside the Bowbridge Bar in 1998.

Tag tamperer

A hit and run biker who left a Dundee schoolboy bedbound for months has been allowed to continue with his curfew despite tampering with his tag.

Josh Breen was sentenced to a year-long 7pm to 7am curfew in November after admitting causing serious injury to a child by driving dangerously.

He returned to the dock at Dundee Sheriff Court to admit tampering with the ankle tag on December 16.

Solicitor David Duncan said: “He was effectively messing around with his friends when it occurred.”

Mr Duncan explained his client immediately phoned the administering company.

Josh Breen
Josh Breen.

Sheriff Paul Brown allowed Breen’s order to continue.

He said: “I wanted to bring you in here and remind you that this order was an alternative to custody.

“I see that you immediately called the organisation which administers this. For that reason, I’m willing to accept this.”

Hit and run tragedy

A promising student was killed in a drunken hit and run days before he was due to start studying at Dundee University. Celtic B team Footballer Ciaran Dickson, 22, struck Aidan Pilkington, 18, in Glasgow’s Anniesland in September 2021 after drinking beer and cocktails, then fled the scene and abandoned his rented Mercedes close to his home.

Aidan Pilkington was due to start at Dundee University
Tragic Aidan was due to start at Dundee University the week after the accident.

Chelsea smile thug breach

A thug who pressed a knife against his partner’s face in Brechin and told her he would give her a “Chelsea smile” has been returned to jail after breaching his supervised release order.

Andrew Ashcroft was previously convicted of engaging in a course of abusive behaviour towards a woman between January 2021 and May 2022, at locations including properties in Brechin and Dundee bus station.

He verbally abused her, dragged her by her hair, sat on her chest, threatened to give her a “Chelsea smile” – an ear-to-ear slash – and pressed a knife against her mouth.

Ashcroft, from North Lanarkshire, stabbed the woman in the back of the leg.

He also admitted assaulting his ex-wife in Hamilton in the summer of 1999 by tying a kettle flex around her neck and attacking her in Blantyre in 2005 by punching her on the face.

The 44-year-old was jailed at Forfar Sheriff Court for a total of 29 months and Sheriff Paul Brown added a supervised release order lasting a year and imposed five-year non-harassment orders to protect both victims.

Sheriff Brown returned Ashcroft to prison for 321 days, backdated to his first day on remand.

Avoided pothole, flipped car

A motorist flipped her car while trying to avoid a monster pothole in Auchterarder. Support worker Suzanne Scott, 52, careered off the road after driving into the path of an oncoming vehicle.

Hammer time

A man seen ranting in a Kinross-shire town while grasping a hammer has been fined.

Thomas Inglis appeared at Perth Sheriff Court and admitted a charge of behaving in a threatening and abusive manner in Whyte Place, Milnathort, on July 7 2022.

The charge states he was likely to cause fear or alarm by shouting, swearing and brandishing the hammer.

Fiscal depute Elizabeth Hodgson police were called by residents who saw the hammer and en route to the scene, they spotted Inglis driving past.

“It was noted that the windscreen had been smashed.

“The vehicle was stopped and the accused cooperated.

“He exited from the driver’s side and he was seen holding a hammer in his hand.”

Solicitor Pauline Cullerton, defending, said: “It was not Mr Inglis’ intention to do anything with the hammer but his car windscreen had just been smashed.”

Sheriff William Wood told Inglis: “On the face of it, this was very serious but given your explanation and the fact it seems to be out of character for you, I think I can deal with this by way of a financial penalty.”

Inglis, of Ross Street, Kinross, was fined £630.

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