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Wednesday court round-up — Social work attack and 49 crimes

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

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A man has been fined for driving at 71mph in a 40mph speed limit in Dunfermline.

John Daly, of Keith Street, Kincardine, appeared at Dunfermline Sheriff Court to plead guilty to driving carelessly on Queensferry Road on October 10 2022.

Sheriff Grant McCulloch fined Daly £380 and handed him six penalty points.

Prison move

A thief who robbed a frail pensioner in an electric wheelchair in his Dundee home has been moved from Perth Prison for his own safety. Douglas Laidlaw sobbed as he was sentenced to 20 months for sneaking into an 81-year-old’s home to assault and rob him.

Douglas Laidlaw
Douglas Laidlaw.

Attacked shopping centre

A shop raider caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to a Perth shopping centre.

Serial offender Ross Matthew berated a social worker as she was with another service user at Bob and Berts restaurant in Perth city centre.

He told her: “You’re a f***ing psycho b****. You’ve ruined my life.”

Prosecutor Duncan McKenzie told Perth Sheriff Court he then threw the contents of a paper cup over her head.

Later that day, Matthew kicked a £6000 glass window at St John’s Shopping Centre, causing it to shatter.

Bob and Berts, Perth
Matthew attacked a social worker in Bob and Berts on Perth’s High Street.

He admitted charges of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner and vandalism on July 27 last year.

The court heard he also smashed his way into Perth’s South Street Newsagents in the early hours of June 2020, making off with two bottles of alcohol.

He also attempted to use someone else’s credit card to buy more than £60 of items from local shops.

Solicitor David Holmes, defending, said: “Obviously the number of cases here will be of some concern to the court but as the background reports show, this is a man who clearly needs some help.”

Sheriff Alison McKay told Matthew, 30, of Darnhall Crescent, Perth: “This is concerning, particularly because one of the incidents involves a member of social work staff.

“While custody is something that the court must consider, I am going to impose a restriction of liberty order as a direct alternative.”

Matthew was told he must stay home between 7pm and 7am for eight months.

Ring app horror

A distraught mum watched a horrifying attack on her son through his Ring doorbell camera in Stirling. She was visiting family in Dundee when her mobile phone app showed live video of masked knifeman Michael Higgins beating and attempting to rob her son at his home near Stirling.

Michael Higgins
Michael Higgins. Image: Facebook.

49 crimes

A Kirkcaldy man is accused of 49 crimes including stealing fuel, vapes, and tins of paint.

Steven Thomson or Lonie is alleged to have stolen fuel on 22 occasions from garages in Kirkcaldy, Glenrothes, Cowdenbeath, Methil, Leven, Rosyth and Dunfermline.

Thomson, 30, of Thornton Road, also faces several charges of driving without a valid licence or insurance.

In July last year he is said to have stolen someone’s bank card and fraudulently used it to buy items in a Co-op in Lauder Road, Kirkcaldy.

On separate dates in October last year, he is alleged to have stolen four vapes from a Shell filling station in Kirkcaldy’s Hendry Road and two cans of paint from B&Q at the town’s Fife Central Retail Park.

B&Q in Kirkcaldy
Thomson is accused of stealing paint from B&Q in Kirkcaldy.

The alleged crimes span the period between July 10 last year and January 19 this year.

His 39-year-old co-accused, William Rollo, appears on one of the fuel theft charges concerning a garage in Kirkcaldy.

Rollo, of Balgreggie Road, Auchterderran, Cardenden, faces a second allegation on his own of stealing fuel in Cowdenbeath.

Rollo appeared at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court to deny both charges.

Thomson did not appear in the dock.

Defence lawyer Calum Harris said Thomson had denied the first 31 charges and more were added.

The solicitor asked for matters to be continued without plea in respect of the complaint now before the court.

Attack on boyfriend

A drunk woman stabbed her partner in the head with a steak knife after he said he did not love her.

Carol Devaney, 64, from Dundee, attacked her boyfriend at his home in Cellardyke, leaving him needing stitches to the back of his head.

Carol Devaney leaves Dundee Sheriff Court.
Carol Devaney leaves Dundee Sheriff Court.

Manslaughter admitted

A 44-year-old man from Dundee has admitted killing a pensioner in his home.

James O’Connor, from Dundee, pled guilty to manslaughter by diminished responsibility at Bristol Crown Court last week.

The court was told how O’Connor stabbed 89-year-old Frederick Burge at his home in Glastonbury on February 26 last year.

Frederick Burge
Frederick Burge, 89.

Police said Mr Burge was a “well-known character” in the town known for his “friendly smile”.

O’Connor, of Hilltown, was charged on March 8 last year and will be sentenced at Bristol Crown Court at a later date.

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