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Tuesday court round-up — ‘Gangmaster’ trial and Turkey trip

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

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Two men accused of exploiting foreign workers in rural Perthshire will now stand trial in November.

Stelian Neascu, 56, and Petrica Obreja, 40, deny being gangmasters in a charge involving at least 10 people at locations across Blairgowrie.

The pair were charged under the Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Scotland) Act.

Neascu, of Worriston Street, and Obreja, of High Street, Perth, were due to stand trial in Perth this week but their case has been adjourned until November 4 and will now take place at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court.

Blamed attack on hypo

A drink-drive suspect who attacked an elderly woman, then tried to blame her conduct on low blood sugar levels, has been placed on a curfew. Jill Fyffe, 45, claimed she was having a hypoglycaemic attack when she was seen in a parked vehicle in Longforgan punching the 80-year-old. Passing dog-walkers grabbed Fyffe’s keys and locked her inside the car until police arrived.

Jill Fyffe
Jill Fyffe. Image: Facebook

Turkey trip

A Fife funeral director who was put on the Sex Offenders Register (SOR) for attacking a woman in her Methil home failed to tell police about his travel plans to Turkey.

Alex Little was convicted after cuddling his victim, unclipping her bra and fondling her breasts, all while she was intoxicated and incapable of giving consent, on May 6 last year.

Last year at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court, he was placed on the Sex Offenders Register for five years after admitting sexual assault and sentenced to 160 hours of unpaid work and 12 months of offender supervision.

Alex Little.
Alex Little at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court previously.

Little, 49, of Pentland Avenue, Kennoway, appeared in court again to breaching his sex offender notification requirements by failing to tell police about his travel plans to Turkey before the departure date on October 10 last year.

He also admitted failing, within three days from the relevant date, to notify police of certain information and attend and complete his initial notification requirements.

Sheriff Robert More admonished him on both charges.

Killer’s trial collapses

A notorious Scottish killer has been acquitted of stalking two women from behind bars after a blunder by prosecutors meant he was not brought to court in Perth for trial. Alan Dewar,33, is serving a life sentence for the murder of Inverness teenager Joshua Mitchell and was accused of engaging in a course of conduct that caused two women fear or alarm in April 2022, repeatedly contacting them by phone from Perth Prison and making violent threats.

Alan Dewar
Alan Dewar.

Dundee crash

Dundee distribution manager Andrew Henderson, 55, of Arnhall Drive, was caught almost four times the drink-drive limit (100mics/ 22) after a crash in the city.

He immediately admitted to drinking after the incident at the junction of Glamis Road and Ninewells Avenue on March 21.

Dundee Sheriff Court heard how he was seen getting out of the car by a passer-by and he confessed to taking alcohol.

Police found him to be unsteady on his feet and smelling strongly of alcohol.

After pleading guilty, solicitor Gary McIlravey produced letters from Henderson’s GP and support worker indicating his client’s struggles with alcohol and other issues.

Henderson was fined £800 and disqualified from driving for 16 months by Sheriff Mungo Bovey.

Stalker must pay up

A Dunfermline gym owner has been told to pay compensation to a woman he stalked after she ended their relationship. Michael Dickson, 33, sent his victim numerous unwanted emails and messages, including one asking if she was out at a restaurant with another man and others showing pictures of love quotes.

Michael Dickson.
Michael Dickson. Image: Facebook.

Phone filth

Ewan James, 21, of Waverley Drive, Glenrothes downloaded child abuse images has been placed on the Sex Offenders Register for three years.

He appeared at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court for sentencing after earlier admitting the offending, which took place between January 23 and September 21 2022.

Prosecutor Christine Allan told the court police were made aware of an internet connection at James’ home address being used to access indecent images of children.

Two mobile phones were retrieved from his bedroom in a search.

Cyber crime analysis revealed two images rated category A – the worst kind – and seven category C images.

Defence lawyer Graham Inch said first offender James accepts the behaviour is “despicable” and contacted rehab service Stop It Now and regularly sees a psychologist.

He lost his job due to the court case.

Sheriff Steven Borthwick sentenced James to 200 hours of unpaid work, placed him on offender supervision for three years, and made a programme requirement for him to take part in the Moving Forward to Change programme as a direct alternative to custody.

James was also put on the Sex Offenders Register for three years.

Deaths caused in crash

Ronald Stoneman, 79, from Broughty Ferry admitted causing two deaths and serious injury to the two passengers by careless driving in the Highlands in August 2022. A passenger in the other car, Kenneth Gillon, 69, from Auchterarder died in the head-on crash and a passenger in Stoneman’s car died in hospital 10 days later.

Auchterarder grandfather Kenneth Gillon
Kenneth Gillon, 69, from Auchterarder, died in the crash. Image: Police Scotland.

Football ban

A 22-year-old man has appeared in court accused of setting off a pyrotechnic device at a Tayside derby.

Aaron Mills, of Provost Mills in Abernethy, is accused of culpably and recklessly setting off the device at Dens Park during the Scottish Premiership match between the Dark Blues and St Johnstone on February 11 this year.

Prosecutors allege this caused potential risk of injury to others or damage to property.

Mills’ case was continued without a plea until a case management hearing next month.

Sheriff Mungo Bovey released him on bail, banning him from attending any regulated football match in the meantime.

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