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Tuesday court round-up — Hotel havoc and curtains blaze

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

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An Arbroath man punched his way into a rival’s home, then asked for toilet paper to mop up blood he was losing.

Drunk Darren Inglis previously admitted acting in a threatening or abusive manner at the property in Weavers Close, Arbroath.

On March 5 this year, he punched his way through a glass panel and began shouting, swearing and acting aggressively towards the resident there, challenging him to fight.

Forfar Sheriff Court heard Inglis calmed down and asked for toilet roll to catch his blood, having cut himself on the way in.

He left but police arrived to find broken glass and blood in the doorway.

22-year-old Inglis, of Brechin Road in Arbroath, has made up with the complainer, his solicitor Billy Rennie confirmed.

He was fined £200, plus a £20 victim surcharge, and ordered to pay housing association Hillcrest £100 compensation.

Former footballer snared

Former Dunfermline and St Johnstone footballer Ian Heddle, 61, has been convicted of sexually abusing a young girl in Thailand. He was snared after being held at Edinburgh Airport in February 2023 as he returned to the Far East and  more than 270,000 indecent photos and videos of children were found on seized devices, including three clips of him abusing a child.

Ian Heddle
Ian Heddle. Image: Police Scotland.

Phone found in TV

A convicted killer caught with an illegal mobile phone at Perth Prison for a second time has escaped further punishment.

James Demarco told a sheriff “Aw, thanks mate,” as he was admonished.

The 34-year-old is serving a life term for the fatal stabbing of teenager Jamie Ewart in Edinburgh.

The court heard guards found the unauthorised device during a search on March 11 this year.

HMP Perth.
HMP Perth. Image: Kris Miller/DC Thomson.

Demarco, representing himself via video link, pled guilty to possessing the phone but insisted it was not his.

He said he had borrowed another prisoner’s television and was unaware there was a phone hidden inside it.

He said: “I went to the governor but he said it doesn’t matter if it’s your phone or not, it was in your possession at the time of the search.

“But I wasn’t using it.”

Demarco – once convicted of beating up a prison guard – said he had been sanctioned by staff and temporarily banned from gym and recreation.

He was admonished by Sheriff Gregor McCulloch.

Three-hour Ring performance

A Perth pervert returned to his victim’s door and performed a depraved solo act for her Ring doorbell camera that lasted nearly three hours, a court has heard. When he was caught the first time, Neil Beattie told police he wanted to make a “porn movie” using the woman’s front door video recorder.

Neil Beattie
Ring Doorbell pervert Neil Beattie leaving Perth Sheriff Court.

Hotel havoc

A woman spat in the face of a police officer after verbally abusing Dundee hotel staff who were trying to help her.

Police were called to Sleeperz Hotel in the middle of the day to deal with sozzled guest Siobhan Jack.

The 36-year-old was on the third floor of the hotel and behaved in a “highly aggressive” manner to a housekeeper at around 1pm, shouting “Come on b******”, before pointing and lunging aggressively in their direction.

The housekeeper was alarmed and other staff were asked to intervene.

Dundee Sheriff Court heard how barefooted Jack initially calmed down and engaged in conversation, despite being visibly under the influence.

She was allowed back into her room where she collected some of her belongings and left but concerns remained for her welfare.

Sleeperz Hotel
Sleeperz Hotel at Dundee rail station. Image: DC Thomson/ Kenny Smith.

Staff tried to persuade her to get help at reception but Jack sat on a third floor windowsill and refused to move.

Jack became aggressive, moved towards one of the witnesses and shouted she was a “dirty little slag”.

Police were contacted and matters escalated, with Jack kicking out before spitting on one PC’s face.

Thom, of Rires Road in Leuchars, pled guilty to behaving abusively on June 29 2023 and assaulting the police officers.

Defence solicitor Gary Foulis said of Jack: “This offence was very unsavoury but the most important thing is she takes full responsibility for her actions.

“This was committed against a backdrop of poor mental health and she was completely under the influence of alcohol.

“She is now abstaining from alcohol and is actually on medication for that to stop her from drinking. That’s something that’s been very successful.”

Sheriff John Rafferty ordered Jack to perform 160 hours of unpaid work and placed her on supervision for 18 months.

Head rip threat

Fife businessman Alan McIntee assaulted a man returning home from hospital after a heart attack and told him: “I’m going to rip your f***ing head off”. On a separate  occasion the 54-year-old called another man an “English c***”. In total, he was convicted of a total of six offences – all committed on his own Glenrothes street.

Alan McIntee
Alan McIntee.

Curtains for fireraiser?

A Kirkcaldy man has admitted putting his neighbours’ lives at risk when he set fire to his curtains.

At Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court, David Wallace pled guilty to culpable and reckless fire-raising on May 12 last year, when he set fire to the drapes in his Duncan Street flat.

The 46-year-old admitted that this was to the danger of injury or life of others within the block.

Sheriff Mark Allan deferred sentencing until July 9 for background reports.

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