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Friday court round-up — Football fight and sibling dispute

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

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A 25-year-old has been handed a two-year football banning order for engaging in a “large scale fight” in Kirkcaldy.

Liam Nolan, of Laurel Grove, Westquarter, Falkirk, appeared at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court for sentencing after earlier pleading guilty to the charge of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner at Links Street on March 9 this year.

Sheriff Mark Allan told Nolan: “It’s the second time you have conducted yourself in a disorderly way in connection with a football game”.

On March 9, Raith Rovers played Dunfermline Athletic in the Fife derby.

The sheriff sentenced Nolan to 120 hours of unpaid work on top of the two-year football banning order.

Torture in Fife and Dundee

A scrap metal recycling firm boss tortured and raped a younger woman in Fife and Dundee. Russell Gray, 63, inflicted “horrendous” injuries on the woman by burning her with cigarettes, gas canisters and candle wax.

Russell Gray.
Russell Gray. Image: Facebook.

Refugee reacted badly

A Ukranian refugee living in Angus was arrested for suspected drink-driving just hours after learning his family home had been bombed.

Father-of-two Vitaliy Kuznietsov was pulled over after a tip-off from a concerned member of the public in East Haven.

Officers spotted Kuznietsov, 36, driving in an erratic manner down Stanley Row, just before midnight on September 30 last year.

He appeared at Forfar Sheriff Court and admitted refusing to comply with a breath test at Dundee police HQ.

Kuznietsov, of Damacre Road, Brechin, had failed a roadside breath test and was taken to police HQ in Dundee, where he became uncooperative and refused to answer questions, the court heard.

Solicitor Billy Rennie, defending, said his client had moved from Ukraine a year ago and works on a farm.

Mr Rennie said: “He found out his family home had been bombed.

“He had been troubled by that and he was not thinking clearly.”

Sheriff Donald Ferguson said: “You were required to comply with the law and you failed to do so – the court has to take a serious view of that.”

He fined Kuznietsov £480 and banned him from driving for two years but rejected a Crown motion to seize his £3,500 car, urging him to sell it instead.

Kitten killer

A raging domestic abuser killed three kittens and battered a woman at her St Andrews home after a night out in Dundee. Kenneth Solway, 26, repeatedly punched and kicked his victim in the head, before she fled. After police turned up and arrested Solway, the woman was taken back home, where the dead cats were found.

Kenneth Solway.
Cat killer Kenneth Solway.

Sibling fracas

A chef who launched a brutal attack on his own brother during a late night row on Perth’s High Street has been fined £450 and handed an 80-hour unpaid work order.

Connor Munro, 27, knocked his brother to the ground and continued attacking him as he lay on the pavement on December 17 2023.

At Perth Sheriff Court he also admitted driving his dad’s Volkswagen Caddy van while more than four times the drink-drive limit (92 mics/ 22).

The court heard a witness was in her home on Perth’s High Street when she heard a van revving its engine outside – Munro was at the wheel and his brother got out the passenger side.

The van drove off but stopped at traffic lights on South Methven Street, where Munro’s shouting brother approached and kicked the back of the vehicle.

Connor Munro.
Connor Munro.

The accused reversed “in what appeared to be an aggressive manner”, mounted a pavement and got out.

He punched his brother to the ground, sat on top of him and rained down blows onto his head and body.

After initially walking away, he returned and continued his attack, then returned to the van to wait for police.

They arrived to find the victim with cuts and bruises, Munro with blood over his hands and his face and a puddle of blood on the ground, near the back of the van.

Solicitor David Sinclair, defending, said: “There was almost a sense of resignation when he went back to the van.

“There was a sense of shame about the way he had conducted himself… Mr Munro and his brother have yet to patch things up.”

Munro was also banned from driving for three years.

Hate crime at Dundee Pride

Convicted drug dealer Darren Howey admitted unleashing a torrent of homophobic abuse at three people attending Dundee Pride. A video, filmed by Howey, circulated on social media, in which he directed a string of slurs at the trio and police moved to arrest him for the hate crime.

Darren Howey, Pride flag.
Darren Howey unleashed a torrent of abuse at Pride in Dundee. Image: Facebook/ DC Thomson.

Rapist could get life sentence

A rapist from Angus who abused a girl after trips to McDonald’s and admitted he was a “monster” could be facing a life sentence.

Kevin Ferguson repeatedly attacked two young girls in Brechin and Montrose between 2017 and 2023.

The 42 year-old already had a lengthy criminal record including two high court convictions for serious physical violence.

Ferguson pled guilty last month to raping one of the children and sexually assaulting the other.

He appeared via video-link at the High Court in Glasgow for sentencing but Lord Arthurson adjourned the case again for a full risk assessment to be carried out on Ferguson.

This could ultimately lead to an Order for Lifelong Restriction being imposed.

The case will next call in August.

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