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Monday court round-up — Tax evasion and police sexual assault acquittals

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

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Jurors acquitted a Tayside businessman accused of failing to pay £110,000 worth of tax.

EcoConstruct Ltd director George Penman was charged with being concerned in the fraudulent evasion of VAT between June 8 2016 and April 12 2017.

It had been alleged he failed to declare the £110,000 amount owed to HMRC at a unit within Manhattan Works, Dundonald Street, Dundee, during that time period.

The sum was in connection with the sale of a property.

Penman, of Braehead Road in Invergowrie, denied the offence and lodged a special defence, incriminating his former book-keeper.

Following a three-day trial before Sheriff Krista Johnston at Forfar Sheriff Court, Penman was found not guilty by the majority of jurors.

Transphobic abuse

A woman who kicked off in a Kirkcaldy pub, then assaulted and abused police officers with transphobic comments has been told to do 200 hours of unpaid work. Kimberley Hood, 33, had to be restrained in the Fife Arms last year and continued to cause chaos after police collected her.

Kimberley Hood
Kimberley Hood. Image: Facebook.

Petition after drugs seizure

Four people have appeared in court after drugs worth £11,000 were discovered at a flat in Dundee.

Heroin and cocaine was seized after police executed a search warrant at an address on Honeygreen Road on Thursday, January 25.

Colin Samson-Hammond, 54, Elizabeth Wilson and Michaelle Mitchell, both 38, and Bradley Luck, 47, all appeared at Dundee Sheriff Court, facing two allegations on petition of being concerned in the supply of the Class A substances on January 25.

Samson-Hammond, of St Columba Gardens and Mitchell, of Honeygreen Road, both Dundee and Wilson and Luck, both of Cavendish Way, Sudbury, Suffolk, made no plea when they appeared from custody.

Sheriff Steven Borthwick KC committed them for further examination and all were released on bail.

Nightmare ex

A woman from Fife was bombarded with hundreds of messages and voicemails from her violent ex-partner for nearly three years after they broke up. Gregor Monson left pleading voicemails that were as long as 45 minutes, as well as sending social media messages at all hours of the day. He admitted two separate instances of attacking her during the initial Covid-19 lockdown.

Gregor Monson
Gregor Monson. Image: Facebook.

Not guilty of police sexual assaults

A 39-year-old man has been acquitted of sexually assaulting two fellow female police probationers after a trial at Dunfermline Sheriff Court.

One of the women claimed Christopher Cowan groped her from behind as she leaned into her car to get Krispy Kreme doughnuts at a Scottish police station car park in October 2021.

She said he touched her hips with both hands as he held a doughnut in one, then slid his other hand down and “cupped” her bottom.

Another woman had claimed that, less than two weeks earlier, Cowan knelt behind her, placed his hands on her hips and pressed himself against her during a training exercise at the Scottish Police College at Tulliallan.

The complainer only recalled full details of the alleged incident after being referred in court to her witness statement, given in March 2022.

A witness spoke to the woman appearing startled and tense after the exercise but said they were not in a position to see what happened.

Cowan denied the alleged attacks on the women, both aged in their 20s.

He told the trial he had touched the woman’s shoulders during the training exercise in a bid to correct her technique.

In relation to what happened in the police station car park, he said he only put an arm round the woman in a hug.

Sheriff Garry Sutherland found Cowan not guilty of both sexual assault charges.

Career in tatters

A British Army officer’s career lies in tatters after he secretly undertook a 650-mile trip to issue death threats to unsuspecting colleagues. Peter Udall drove from Nottingham to Dundee to slash the tyres of two cars and leave anonymous notes about petrol bombing the family homes of two ex-colleagues.

Peter Udall
Peter Udall was found guilty.

Ice pick in shopping centre

A shoplifting suspect was caught with an ice pick in his pocket after an outburst at a Perth retail complex and has been jailed for 104 days.

Graham Palmer, 33, was challenged by security staff as he emerged from changing rooms at St John’s Shopping Centre.

When told police would be called he said: “You’ll need 10 of them.”

At Perth Sheriff Court, he admitted having an offensive weapon and behaving in a threatening or abusive manner on June 12 last year.

St John’s Shopping centre in Perth.

Fiscal depute Duncan McKenzie told the court Palmer began behaving “erratically” when approached and insisted he had not stolen anything.

“The accused’s bags were checked and items of clothing were found within,” the prosecutor said.

As he strolled towards the High Street exit, Palmer shouted a disablist slur, the court heard.

When police arrived and searched Palmer, they found an ice pick in his right trouser pocket.

Palmer was not charged with theft or shoplifting.

Solicitor David Holmes said his client had no idea where the ice pick came from.

“He has difficulties with his mental health and had been taking street valium to calm his nerves,” he said.

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