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Friday court round-up — ‘I didn’t even ken that was a law’

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

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Reports have been ordered for a man who undertook vehicles on the Kingsway while driving with a cracked windscreen.

At Dundee Sheriff Court, Dillon Ross-Croal admitted driving dangerously on April 17 2021, at excessive speeds and while undertaking other vehicles.

Ross-Croal, of Millfield Road in Arbroath, swerved in front of other vehicles while driving with a cracked windscreen.

The 34-year-old admitted the offence on the day he was due to stand trial and sentence was deferred.

Bus creep on Register

A bus creep who rubbed his crotch while staring and laughing at a lone female passenger has been placed on the Sex Offenders Register. John Moffat, 65, carried out a solo sex act on a public Stagecoach service between Greenloaning and Muthil in Perthshire.

John Moffat
John Moffat.

McDonald’s mess-up

A banned driver who failed to give police a blood sample after an order mix-up at McDonald’s has been hit with a further disqualification.

Police were called to the fast food restaurant at Camperdown in Dundee, where they encountered Gavin Blues.

Officers were concerned Blues, 43, was under the influence of drugs.

Blues had faced a separate allegation relating to McDonald’s but this was dropped.

He challenged the legality of having to provide a specimen of blood.

Prosecutor Sarah High told Dundee Sheriff Court: “The accused indicated to officers that he had driven there.

“Officers suspected he may have been under the influence of a substance and carried out a roadside drug wipe which gave a positive result.”

McDonald's, Camperdown Leisure Park
McDonald’s, Camperdown Leisure Park.

Blues, of Kingsway Terrace, was arrested and taken to police headquarters but refused to comply with the request for a blood sample.

He said: “I didn’t even ken that was a law.”

In court, he pled guilty to refusing to provide the specimen to ascertain his ability to drive on September 13 2021.

Defence solicitor Larry Flynn said Blues had been at McDonald’s for around half an hour after his order had been mixed-up.

He said Blues was “not best pleased” after feeling “shortchanged” by McDonald’s.

Blues is currently serving a driving ban until December 2025 and that was extended by Sheriff Steven Borthwick KC.

He said: “It may be you were not in the best of moods because of the earlier incident but nevertheless, when you are required to provide a specimen in this manner it’s a legal requirement.”

An extra 12 months was added to Blues’ ban and he was fined £600.

Exceptional circumstances

A Blairgowrie pensioner who pocketed £40,000 of unemployment benefits while working at a Dundee jewellery store for seven years has been spared jail. Suzanne Gillman purposefully claimed allowance while hiding the fact she was employed as a 40-hour a week shop assistance by High Street chain Beaverbrooks. A sheriff said there were ‘truly exceptional’ circumstances to keep her from prison.

Suzanne Gillman
Suzanne Gillman appeared at Perth Sheriff Court.

Fined and banned

Angus businessman Stuart McKenzie has been hit with a driving ban after causing an A90 road smash, weeks before committing a second driving offence.

Tailgater McKenzie, of Lownie Road in Kingsmuir, previously admitted five offences at Forfar Sheriff Court, including resisting arrest.

One of those involved rear-ending a car on the dual carriageway and needing to be pulled from his van while unresponsive.

At a sentencing hearing at Forfar Sheriff Court, solicitor John Boyle explained his client’s partner has had to give up work to act as a driver so the 42-year-old can continue running his machine repair business.

Stuart McKenzie
Stuart McKenzie at Forfar Sheriff Court.

He said: “These offences are now of some vintage, he has not driven since.

“It appears that the trigger for this offending behaviour was Mr McKenzie’s mental health difficulties.

“He’s been abstinent from alcohol for one year.”

Sheriff Mungo Bovey fined McKenzie £900, plus a £40 victim surcharge, for the traffic offences.

He reduced the driving ban from five years to 30 months due to his guilty plea and adhering to a driving ban bail condition for two years.

In relation to the resisting arrest charge, McKenzie was ordered to pay £1,000 to the court within a week, to be returned in 2025 if he remains of good behaviour for a year.

Double rapist

Dundee double rapist Daniel Robertson is behind bars, awaiting sentence. The 33-year-old was found guilty of attacks on women in the city and in Aberdeenshire.

Dundee double rapist Daniel Robertson.

Fianceé’s van forfeited

A repeat drink-driver caught behind the wheel by police in Arbroath while he was already banned has had his fiancée’s van forfeited.

Lee Meldrum, 47, of Main Street, Invergowrie, previously admitted driving while over the limit (31mics/ 22), disqualified and without insurance on November 21 last year.

Police caught up with him at 10am after he had travelled along Westway, the A92 and Viewfield Road in Arbroath.

Lee Meldrum.

Fiscal depute Jill Drummond explained the same van he had been driving was used when he was involved in other traffic offending in 2022.

At Forfar Sheriff Court he was told the £3000 van would not be returned.

Meldrum’s solicitor explained his client had shared a bottle of wine with his partner the night before but got behind the wheel when a work opportunity arose.

Sheriff Mungo Bovey granted forfeiture and banned Meldrum from driving for 32 months.

He said: “I see that in October 2022, you were disqualified for 16 months for a drink driving offence. Here we are again.”

Stirling knife threat

A knife-wielding stranger who terrorised a couple while they were on a night out in Stirling is facing a prison sentence. Liam O’Donnell threatened to slit a woman’s throat while clutching a blade in the early hours of the morning.

Stirling Sheriff court sign
O’Donnell appeared at Stirling Sheriff Court.

Risk reports ordered

A persistent collector of extreme pornography and child abuse material is to undergo a risk assessment before he is sentenced for his latest offending.

Brian Clark from Aberfeldy began amassing a hoard of images and videos less than two weeks after he was released from a prison sentence for possessing hundreds of indecent images on a laptop.

Clark, 52, was jailed for three-and-a-half years in 2016 and ordered to be under supervision in the community for the same period.

But he began downloading more child abuse images within days of being freed.

Clark, formerly of Old Crieff Road, Aberfeldy, admitted a charge of taking indecent photos between July 14 2022 and March 14 2023.

He also admitted possessing obscene images of children between September 15 2022 and March 14 in 2023 and possessing extreme pornographic images of bestiality, when he earlier appeared at Perth Sheriff Court.

Brian Clark
Sex offender Brian Clark being led from court in 2015.

The court heard a total of 1091 child sexual exploitation and abuse images and videos were found on his devices.

Nearly 300 files were deemed to be at the most serious level.

Two showed sexual activity between adults and dogs.

Police also found a suitcase containing a packet of nappies, a dummy and a child’s makeup set during a search of his flat.

Sheriff Alison McKay sent the case to be dealt with at the High Court, which has greater sentencing powers.

Lord Weir told Clark during a brief hearing it was clear to him a risk assessment was required before he passed sentence in March.

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