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Perth prisoner due for early release threatened to rape police officer’s six-year-old daughter

Mark Moore appeared at Perth Sheriff Court a day before he is due to be freed under emergency plans announced by the Scottish Government last month.

Mark Moore is due to be released early as part of a scheme to ease overcrowding.
Mark Moore is due to be released early as part of a scheme to ease overcrowding.

A Perth prisoner due for early release as part of a national scheme to ease overcrowding has admitted assaulting a police officer and making threats to rape the cop’s six-year-old daughter.

Mark Moore appeared at Perth Sheriff Court a day before he is due to be freed under emergency plans announced by the Scottish Government last month.

Between 500 and 550 short-term prisoners are getting out over the next four weeks.

Prison chiefs said those convicted of sexual or domestic abuse offences will stay locked up.

Moore is serving a 244-day sentence, imposed in November, for two assaults and possession of a knife.

Mark Moore appeared from custody at Perth Sheriff Court

The 34-year-old, of Hermitage Drive, Perth, returned to the dock on Wednesday and pled guilty to behaving in a threatening or abusive manner on March 12 2022.

He further admitted assaulting a police officer.

Police respond to disturbance

Police were called out to Bleachers Way, Huntingtower, following an argument between Moore and his neighbours, the court heard.

He started hurling abuse at officers as soon as they showed up, telling them: “I’ll f***ing do you in.”

Moore was arrested after refusing to calm down.

The fiscal depute said: “He was seen to tense up and attempted to headbutt one police constable, although no contact was made.”

Moore was then restrained on the ground.

He lashed out with his legs and kicked the same officer.

At this point, he was told he was also under arrest for police assault.

Threat to stalk girl on Facebook

The prosecutor said that while in the police van on the way to Dundee HQ, Moore made a series of “vulgar and obscene” remarks.

He told an officer that he would stalk his daughter’s Facebook page.

Moore went on to describe how he would sexually abuse the six-year-old and told police he would “watch her at school”.

He added: “Mark my words, I will stab you two in the throat.”

Inside Perth Prison. Image: DCT Media

Solicitor Pauline Cullerton, defending, said her client was heavily dependent on alcohol at the time.

He also suffers poor mental health, she said.

“There had been an argument with a neighbour,” Ms Cullerton said.

“He remembers the police turning up, but after that his memory is poor due to intoxication.

“He has reflected on his behaviour and is disgusted by what he did and what he said.

“Mr Moore does not recognise himself in those remarks.

“He feels they do not reflect him in any way.”

The solicitor said he “sincerely apologised” to both police.

Perth Sheriff Court.

She added: “He is due to be released tomorrow (Thursday) as part of the early release programme.

“He is identified as a low category prisoner.”

The court heard Moore was hoping to return to work as a tiler.

Sheriff Morag Fraser told Moore: “These were awful remarks.

“There has to be a punishment element for this.”

The sheriff proposed a one-year supervision order with a restriction of liberty curfew for two months.

However, Moore was told he requires to return to court for sentencing in a week’s time, once he has been released and has access to a mobile phone.

Concerns over release plan

The Scottish Government hopes the early release of hundreds of prisoners will help tackle overcrowding issues.

Currently the prison population is nearly 8,300, well above the target operating capacity of 8,007.

Only inmates who are inside for under four years who have 180 days or less left to serve are eligible.

Sex offenders, domestic abusers and anyone deemed by governors to be an immediate risk to others are exempt.

Victim Support Scotland has raised concerns the scheme could lead to re-offending.

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