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Monday court round-up — Sectarian abuse beating and ‘let’s play a game’

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

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A pubgoer who battered a man unconscious in a Kirkcaldy bar after he called him a “Fenian p***k” the day after Rangers lost in the Europa League final has been told to do 90 hours of unpaid work.

Michael Caine, 49, straddled abusive William Gordon at the Fife Arms and rained punches on him on May 19 2022.

At an earlier hearing at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court, Caine admitted pushing him over and repeatedly punching him on the head, rendering him unconscious, to his severe injury.

The Courier previously told how Gordon was found guilty after trial of acting in an abusive manner by shouting, swearing and making sectarian remarks.

Prosecutor Joanne Ritchie told the court previously a “fairly intoxicated” Gordon was directing sectarian chants at Caine, called him a Fenian p**ck,” and that there was a verbal argument before the assault.

Michael Caine
Michael Caine.

The fiscal depute said it happened in the St Clair Street pub the day after Rangers played in the Europa League final and lost on penalties to Eintracht Frankfurt.

The court heard Gordon suffered a fracture, swelling and a contusion around his left eye.

Caine, of Rosslyn Street, Kirkcaldy, appeared in court for sentencing.

Sheriff Steven Borthwick sentenced him to 90 hours of unpaid work as part of a community payback order, as an alternative to custody.

Alba candidate threats

Alba Party candidate Marks Shields, 53, menaced his ex-wife by making baseless claims her new husband was a paedophile and saying he would ask his “friends” at Perth Prison about him. The 53-year-old, who stood for Alex Salmond’s pro-independence party in 2022 and 2023, appeared at Perth Sheriff Court and admitted causing fear or alarm by behaving in a threatening or alarming way at a property in the city.

Alba Party candidate Mark Shields.
Mark Shields.

Caught by cannabis smell

A teenager was caught driving Perthshire while three-and-a-half times the drug-driving limit.

Kobie Munro was pulled over by police who wanted to speak to him about a faulty headlamp.

The 18-year-old appeared at Perth Sheriff Court and admitted driving with 7 mics of cannabis metabolite Delta 9 THC in his blood stream on December 2 2022.

The permitted limit is 2 mics.

Prosecutor Elizabeth Hodgson said Munro’s grey Peugot 308 was spotted merging onto the A912 Bridge of Earn to Perth road by police on mobile patrol.

Munro was pulled over at a bus stop and police detected a smell of cannabis.

Solicitor John McLaughlin, defending, said: “The smell of cannabis was from a friend of the accused’s who was smoking a joint.

“This was a chaotic time for Mr Munro and since then he has really turned his life around.

“He has found a job but unfortunately that won’t be able to continue.”

Sheriff Jennifer Bain KC told Munro, of Thomson Street, Glasgow, there was no alternative to disqualification.

He was fined £300 and banned from driving for a year.

Footprint left on face

A Forfar man left a footprint on the head of a rival he believed to be at fault for a friend’s death. Tyler Godfrey knocked his victim to the ground, then continued his attack and left a footprint when he stamped on his head in what a sheriff said could have been a fatal attack.

Tyler Godfrey.
Tyler Godfrey.

‘Let’s play a game’

A Fife man who shot his mother in the head with a BB gun has been given a structured deferred sentence.

Connor McFarlane also fired the airsoft gun towards his mother’s friend, striking her in the breast with a ball bearing, during the same incident in Burntisland on August 7 2022.

The 20-year-old appeared at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court for sentencing after earlier pleading guilty to two charges of culpably and recklessly firing ball bearings, which struck and injured the women.

Prosecutor Douglas Thomson told the court previously that first offender McFarlane was 18 at the time of the offence, which took place at the home he then shared with his mother.

The court heard their relationship could be volatile.

Connor McFarlane.
Connor McFarlane. Image: Facebook.

At the time, McFarlane’s mother and her friend were drinking alcohol together and following an exchange of words, McFarlane went upstairs and returned with a BB gun.

He said “let’s play a game” and threw a second unloaded BB gun at one of the women.

The fiscal depute said: “The accused began to fire and (his mother) felt two blows to the temple and right eye.”

McFarlane then fired towards the other woman and the ball bearing struck her on the left breast.

The court heard his mother was bleeding from the face and was left with a minor cut to her forehead, while his other target had minor bleeding to the left side of her chest.

Sheriff Steven Borthwick sentenced McFarlane, of Rossend Terrace, Burntisland, to a structured deferred sentence with a review date on April 29.

Five-year delay

A sheriff blasted a five-year delay in bringing a Fife benefits cheat to court and lightened her sentence as a result. Julie Young from High Valleyfield was caught claiming more than £27,000 in unwarranted benefits and was given unpaid work despite reaching the custody threshold.

Julie Young.
Julie Young has had the case hanging over her for five years.

Punched woman in pub

A teenager who punched a woman in the face in a Fife pub then slipped on ice as he tried to escape police, has been handed a three-month structured deferred sentence.

Owen Waterson, 19, assaulted his victim at the Foresters Arms, Aberdour, on December 2 last year.

Dunfermline Sheriff Court heard previously shocked revellers saw the woman lying on the ground of the smoking area, with blood coming from one eye.

Waterson, of Inchview Gardens, Dalgety Bay, obstructed or hindered four police constables in nearby Shore Road as they tried to arrest him.

Defence lawyer Chris Sneddon told the court, in the lead up to the assault, the woman had grabbed Waterson’s hair and followed him out of the pub in an aggressive manner after taking umbrage to something he had said.

Mr Sneddon said his client’s position is that she then asked him for a fight.

The solicitor added: “He accepts he lost his temper and lashed out when he should not have done.”

Ms Stevenson said Waterson “ran out” of the pub when police arrived and officers chased him on foot, shouting at him to stop.

The fiscal depute said: “He continued for 150 to 200 metres before he fell on ice”.

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