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Thursday court round-up — ‘Unfortunate blip’ and promenade scrap

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

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A Perthshire pensioner who admitted a racially-aggravated assault on her Northern Irish neighbour, telling her “you should have been shot with the rest of them,” has avoided further punishment.

Catherine Powell, 77, was involved in a flare-up with the woman outside her home in Balbeggie, near Perth.

She slapped her neighbour across the face and told her: “You’re the bully in my country.”

Perth Sheriff Court heard Powell snapped after being verbally abused by the complainer’s children, who had set up a ramp for bikes beside her car, which she asked to be taken it down.

Solicitor Mike Tavendale, defending, said: “She very much regrets her involvement.

“She is now contemplating moving from the village because of the effect that this incident had on her.”

76-year-old Catherine Powell admits racist assault on Irish neighbour.
Catherine Powell.

Powell first appeared in the dock six months ago and admitted charges of assault and behaving in a threatening or abusive manner, including making racist comments, on September 3 last year.

Sentence was deferred until this week for her to show she could stay out of trouble.

Sheriff William Wood admonished Powell, telling her: “Clearly this was an unfortunate incident but after 76 years of law abiding behaviour, we will treat this as a blip.”

Death crash trial

A man is to stand trial in December accused of causing the death of young mother Rebecca Sivyer in a Perthshire road crash. Steven Allan, 32, is said to have been dangerously driving a Vauxhall Corsa in which 23 year-old Ms Sivyer was the front seat passenger when it crashed on the A94 Coupar Angus to Forfar on August 22 2021.

Rebecca Sivyer.
Rebecca Sivyer died in the accident in 2021. Image: Supplied.

Sex attack

A man who carried out a sex attack on a sleeping woman at an address in Kirkcaldy has been jailed for a year and placed on the Sex Offenders Register for a decade.

Shane Allan, 27, was previously convicted by a jury of sexually assaulting his victim by penetration while she was asleep and incapable of consenting, in October 2022.

At Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court, defence lawyer David Bell had argued for a non-custodial sentence – a “robust community package” designed to rehabilitate his client.

Referring to a social work report, the solicitor said first offender Allan’s risk level was not viewed to be as high as others convicted of similar offending behaviour.

He said Allan, of Links Street, Kirkcaldy, does not accept the conduct in the charge and that his position to the social worker reflects his position at trial, which the jury rejected.

Money laundering scam

A Fife mum has admitted laundering money brought in by a Facebook Marketplace PlayStation 5 scam. Sophie Ramsay earned less than 10% of the sum raked in by a predatory fraudster known only as “James”, who told her to offer the console for sale and withdraw the resulting money from her bank account.

Sophie Ramsay.
Sophie Ramsay let her account be used in the scam.

Cars written-off

Two cars were written off after a disqualified driver caused an early morning smash at a roundabout in Dundee.

Lamin Gibba , 41, was already banned from the roads when he struck another vehicle at high speeds on Dens Road at the junction with Arklay Street.

He appeared from custody at Dundee Sheriff Court to plead guilty to driving carelessly and while disqualified.

Fiscal depute Alan Bell described how a woman driving westbound along Dens Road saw Gibba coming towards her and formed the opinion it was travelling at excessive speed.

He failed to stop and hit her nearside, writing off both vehicles.

Gibba, of Balmuir Road, pled guilty to failing to give way, striking the vehicle and causing extensive damage while disqualified on August 1 2021.

Defence solicitor Doug McConnell said the father-of-three is no longer driving and gets lifts to his job in a chicken factory.

He was fined £450 and further disqualified from driving for six months.

City centre scares

Craig Kennedy, 35, has been jailed for menacing women and making “alarming noises” at locations around Perth city centre. His disturbing behaviour sparked a social media scare as his victims posted about their experiences online and urged others to “stay vigilant”.

Craig Kennedy arriving at Perth Sheriff Court.
Craig Kennedy arriving at Perth Sheriff Court.

Promenade scrap

A man pulled open a Fife rival’s car door and attacked him while he was parked at traffic lights at Leven Promenade.

Sean Henderson, 34, of Maple Gardens in Methil, admitted assaulting Michael Doctor by punching him on the head twice on January 13 last year.

Fiscal depute Eve McKaig told Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court: “I understand that the accused had a feud with the family of Mr Doctor.

“Mr Doctor attempted to defend himself by kicking his legs out.

“The accused made contact with his face with these punches.”

Henderson then fled on foot, dropping his phone.

When police arrested him two hours later, he said: “I only punched him twice because he kicked me, it was self-defence.”

Sheriff Robert More fined Henderson £180, plus a £10 victim surcharge.

Treasurer guilty

A woman found guilty of embezzling more than £19,000 from the Fife Arabic Society has been handed an unpaid work order. Sura Miyasar was previously convicted by a jury of embezzling the money when she was treasurer of the Fife Arabic Society (FAS) in St Clair Street, Kirkcaldy between October 2016 and October 2019.

Sura Miyasar.
Sura Miyasar at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court.

Car fire

Psychological reports have been ordered for a teenager who set fire to a car in Dundee.

At Dundee Sheriff Court, the 17-year-old, who cannot be identified due to his age, admitted targeting a vehicle on Pitkerro Road on December 11 last year, setting fire to its windscreen and bonnet.

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