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Friday court round-up — ‘HMP Stirling all the way’ and playgroup crook

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

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A volunteer accountant who stole more than £17,000 from a Forfar charity playgroup must continue paying compensation at £500 per month.

Self-employed bookkeeper Tammy Laird, 45, previously admitted embezzling cash from Chimes Playgroup.

Laird, of Queen Street in Forfar, worked as a volunteer but pocketed cheques which were being given to her to reimburse her for HMRC payments.

Wheelchair-user Laird previously cited “extreme financial difficulty” for her offending, before leaving court in a private-plated SUV.

Sentencing had been deferred in November for her to begin making repayments at £500 per month.

She returned to Forfar Sheriff Court this week where Sheriff Mungo Bovey was told five instalments had been paid so far.

He made a compensation order, instructing Laird to keep up the payments until the outstanding £14,560.50 is fully reimbursed.

Snake and Star Wars toy

An Arbroath “loner” met two primary school pupils at a town playpark and invited them back to his flat to meet his pet snake, before giving them a Star Wars toy. Paul Masson, 55, admitted acting in a manner “likely to cause fear or alarm” at Forfar Sheriff Court, where it was made clear there was nothing sinister behind his action.

Paul Masson
Paul Masson at Forfar Sheriff Court.

‘HMP Stirling all the way’

A Fife woman who asked to be jailed for smashing her neighbour’s door with a hammer gave a sentencing sheriff a thumbs up and shouted “HMP Stirling all the way” as she was led off in handcuffs.

Jennifer Doig, 47, from Kirkcaldy appeared from custody at the town’s sheriff court to admit acting in a threatening or abusive manner on March 7 this year.

She attended a property on Alison Street in possession of a hammer and used it to smash the house’s front door’s glass panels.

Doig’s neighbours heard banging and found their door “destroyed.”

When the neighbour tried to speak to Doig, she replied “I’ll cave your head in,” while still holding the hammer.

When police arrived, Doig told officers: “Aye, I smashed her window with a hammer.

“F*** them, they’re idiots.”

Solicitor Martin McGuire explained his client wished to be jailed as incidents between the parties were escalating.

Doig, who has been jailed before, was sentenced to eight months by Sheriff James Williamson.

Running from the law

A benefits cheat who fraudulently claimed nearly £70,000 of disability aid, claiming she was too sick to walk, was secretly filmed on 5k runs around her Perthshire home. Ex-care worker Annette Bond, 49, claimed she had lost the power in her left leg and needed a walking stick to get around but investigators watched her daily runs.

Annette Bond
Annette Bond at Perth Sheriff Court. 

Attacked with pole

Andrew Scott, 40, of Rolland Avenue, East Wemyss, clubbed a rival with a metal pole and left him permanently disfigured.

He attacked his victim in his home street on July 29 in 2022, leaving him “severely injured.”

He stood trial before a jury at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court but pled guilty to an amended charge, stating he acted under provocation, midway through proceedings.

Andrew Scott
Andrew Scott.

Sentencing had been deferred for reports and Sheriff James Williamson ordered him to complete 200 hours of unpaid work in a year and placed him under supervision for as long.

He said: “Mr Scott, this was a very, very nasty assault on a man with a weapon that caused him significant injury.”

Not playing ball

An pub row over football in a Dundee pub led to a man being repeatedly thumped. Paul Craib, 53, pounced on his victim outside the Balmore bar on Dura Street as the argument turned ugly.

Paul Craib, Balmore Bar, Dundee
Paul Craib assaulted the man after a row over football in the Balmore bar.

Restrictions eased

A benefits cheat who fraudulently claimed £40,000 while working at a Dundee jewellery store has had her curfew relaxed so she can visit family in England.

Suzanne Gillman, of Blairgowrie, was placed on a 12-month restriction of liberty order earlier this year after she admitted conning taxpayers over a seven-year period.

The 65-year-old claimed Employment Support Allowance between March 2011 and May 2018, but failed to tell the authorities she was employed at Beaverbrooks in Dundee.

Gillman, who was also ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work, returned to Perth Sheriff Court this week and asked for time off from her court order.

Solicitor Linda Clark said her client wanted to visit her 94-year old father in Northumberland for what would have been her mother’s birthday.

She also wanted to go see her daughter in April.

“I have explained to her that this sentence was imposed as a direct alternative to custody,” said Ms Clark.

“If he had been serving a jail sentence she would not be visiting any family members at all.”

Sheriff Jennifer Bain granted the change of order application, effectively allowing Gillman to come off her curfew for seven days.

“This is not something that is done as a matter of course,” she told Gillman.

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