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Tuesday court round-up — Relaxed muscle trouble

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

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A drug-driver who topped up his medication with un-prescribed muscle relaxants was caught by police after a two-car smash on the A9.

Jay Bentley‘s Renault Kangoo was involved in a collision with a Mitsubishi Outlander near the A824 junction, near Auchterarder, on September 24 2022.

Bentley, from Perth, was originally charged with driving dangerously while under the influence of a drug.

The 31-year-old appeared at Perth Sheriff Court and admitted driving with 256 mics of Benzoylecgonine – a metabolite of cocaine – in his system. The legal limit is 50 mics.

Prosecutors accepted a not guilty plea to the dangerous driving charge.

Jay Bentley.
Jay Bentley. Image: Facebook

Fiscal depute Sam Craib said police were called to the scene at about 7pm.

“Mr Bentley provided a positive reading shortly afterwards,” he said.

The court heard that the father-of-one has Fibromyalgia.

“He was unable to sleep, so he decided to top up his medication with non-prescription muscle relaxants,” Bentley’s lawyer said.

“But he accepts he was over the limit.”

The former construction worker is hoping to get back into employment soon.

Sheriff William Wood told Bentley: “This was a very stupid thing to do.

“The medication you were already one would have had warnings about this kind of thing on the label.

“There was clearly an accident which drew the attention of the police.

“You have to make sure this doesn’t happen again. Someone could have been killed.”

Bentley, of New Row, was fined £585 and banned from driving for 16 months.

Home ransacked

A brazen thief who made off with laptops and a mobile phone from a Dundee flat was snared thanks to DNA found on a plastic bottle.

John McGrandle was caught after leaving the bottle inside the property on the city’s Dens Road last year.

Serial offender McGrandle has now been hit with another prison sentence after pleading guilty to stealing the electronic goods.

Dundee Sheriff Court heard how the couple who live in the flat had both returned home at around 9pm on May 24 last year to discover the property had been ransacked.

John McGrandle.
John McGrandle.

“The front door of the property was lying open,” fiscal depute Michael Robertson said.

“They entered and noted that items had been stolen and that drawers had been opened and rummaged through.

“One of the witnesses found a plastic bottle lying on her bed that did not belong to either of them. Police were contacted and they seized the plastic bottle.”

McGrandle’s DNA was discovered on the bottle after a forensic examination. He gave a no comment interview to officers while on remand at HMP Perth, where he remains.

Two laptops, a mobile phone, a graphics pad, laptop bags, two passports, two biometric residence cards, two driving licences and a bank card were stolen by McGrandle, who pled guilty to the offence.

Mr Robertson said the items had a total value of around £1,000. Solicitor advocate Jim Laverty said McGrandle was in the grips of a drug addiction at the time of the theft and was currently drug-free.

Sheriff John Rafferty sentenced him to 10 months in prison.

‘Disgusting’ carer avoids jail

A care worker who mocked a dementia patient while filming her, days after attacking her by flicking her nipple, has swerved a jail sentence.

Liam Stark laughed as he filmed the elderly woman in her underpants and T-shirt, and sang: “Donald, where’s your trousers.”

Liam Stark.
Liam Stark outside court.

Sheriff Charles Lugton told 22-year-old Stark: “This was a disgusting offence.”

Stark, from Lochgelly, was ordered to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work as a direct alternative to custody.

Hypo blamed for attack

A drink-drive suspect blamed her diabetes for a frenzied assault on an 80-year-old woman in a parked car.

Passing dog-walkers rescued the elderly passenger from Jill Fyffe‘s vehicle, before taking her keys out of the ignition and locking her inside until police came.

Jill Fyffe.
Jill Fyffe.

Fyffe, 45, was found guilty of assaulting Rosemary Thomson and failing to cooperate with breath tests, as well as a further assault on a police officer, after a trail at Perth Sheriff Court.

Air gun charge

A 32-year-old Kirkcaldy man has been told to carry out unpaid work for having an unauthorised air weapon.

Gavin Brown appeared at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court to plead guilty to having the weapon on July 18 2022 at his home address in Lismore Avenue.

Sheriff Elizabeth McFarlane sentenced Brown to 100 hours of unpaid work.

Jailed gamer caught

A convicted armed robber who helped steal watches worth more than £500,000 from the Gleneagles Hotel has had his prison sentence extended after he was caught with an Xbox capable of accessing the internet in his Perth Prison cell.

Liam Richardson was brought from the Edinburgh Road jail to Perth Sheriff Court to admit possessing the illicit device in October last year.

Prisoners are allowed games consoles in jail, however they must be approved furbished models from a selected supplier to ensure they cannot use the devices to get online.

Richardson, who was sentenced to 11 years and four months for his role in a terrifying robbery at Gleneagles in 2017, had another six months added to his sentence.

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