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Monday court round-up — Dundee rapist ‘struggling’ behind bars

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

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A convicted Dundee rapist won’t serve extra jail time after he was caught with a illegal SIM card in his Perth Prison cell.

Ryan Hush, who was caged in December after a jury heard how he continued having sex with a woman after she wanted to stop, was “struggling” behind bars, Perth Sheriff Court was told.

The 23-year-old had been out drinking with friends when he met the woman, before going back to her flat.

They initially had consensual sex but the woman then wanted it to end and withdrew her consent.

Hush was jailed for four years and placed on the sex offenders register indefinitely.

He appeared via video link at Perth Sheriff Court and admitted having an unauthorised SIM on February 2.

HMP Perth on Edinburgh Road. Image: Kris Miller/DC Thomson.
HMP Perth. Image: DCT Media.

The court heard prison officers carried out a routine cell check at around 7pm.

They entered to find Hush and his cellmate sitting side by side.

Hush appeared to grab something from the top of a unit and appeared to conceal it.

He then handed over a Nokia phone with the unauthorised device inside it.

Solicitor Pauline Cullerton, defending, said: “This is the first time Mr Hush has been in a custodial setting.

“He was using the SIM to stay in touch with family, because he was struggling with being inside prison.”

She added: “This was very much a lapse of judgement.

“He knows this was wrong.”

Sheriff Craig McSherry sentenced Hush to four months imprisonment, to run alongside his current sentence.

Two beers

A drink-driver who was five times the limit claimed to police he only had two beers after work.

Connor McGuiness appeared at Dunfermline Sheriff Court for sentencing after earlier pleading guilty to driving a van with excess alcohol in his system (111mics/22) on Main Street, Saline, on May 15 this year.

Prosecutor Charlotte Allan told the court police were contacted by a woman who suspected McGuiness was under the influence after an incident between their vehicles.

Dunfermline Sheriff Court.

Officers attended and noticed he smelled of alcohol while taking details from him.

The fiscal said: “They requested a breath specimen.

“He stated he had had two beers after work.

“The breath test was a fail”.

Defence lawyer Elaine Buist said McGuiness, of Reverend Downie Wynd, Saline, lost his job as a result of losing his licence.

The solicitor said he has an analogous previous conviction.

Ms Buist said her client, 34, is “very ashamed” about putting himself in that position and other road users potentially in danger.

Referring to a social work report on McGuiness, Ms Buist said there have been some “family pressures” and that despite being five times the limit, he said he did not actually feel drunk.

Sheriff O’Hanlon banned McGuiness from driving for 40 months and handed him 167 hours of unpaid work.

Drunken shop rage

An Arbroath businessman who wreaked havoc in the town’s shopping centre has sold his family business after a drink-fuelled rampage.

Jasbant Johal brandished a broomstick, took his shirt off and hurled bottles around his own shop.

Jasbant Johal was placed under supervision at Forfar Sheriff Court.

Witnesses had to wrestle a petrol can from the 58-year-old, Forfar Sheriff Court heard.

Johal previously admitted acting in a threatening or abusive manner at his Nisa store at Timmergreens Shopping Centre on Arbirlot Road on March 2 this year.

The first offender returned to the dock, aided by a walking stick, and was placed on supervision.

Stole bacon and cheese

A problem gambler who blows “around £1,000 a month” of benefits on his addiction must compensate a Fife Co-op £30 for bacon and cheese he stole.

Habitual thief David Kuszeluk appeared in the dock at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court to admit stealing £29.88 worth of chilled stock from the supermarket in Woodside Way, Glenrothes, on April 4 this year.

The court heard Kuszeluk was already known to staff and the stock he pilfered was never recovered.

Solicitor Andrew Scott explained his client’s benefits, which total around £1,000 a month, are spent on his gambling addiction.

Kuszeluk, 44, of Canmore Road, was order to pay £30 compensation within two months by Sheriff Robert More.

Rapist jailed again

A convicted rapist who sexually assaulted a stranger after hounding her on a Dundee bus has been jailed.

Russell Innes Gray menaced his victim – who was unknown to him – while they travelled into the the city from Ninewells Hospital.

The 63-year-old was found guilty of two charges after previously standing trial at Dundee Sheriff Court.

Russell Gray. Image: Facebook

Father-of-one Gray, who used to run a scrap metal business before it folded during the pandemic, was convicted of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner on July 18 2022.

He repeatedly adopted a menacing demeanour towards the woman, repeatedly pursued her, attempted to engage her in conversation and made sexual remarks towards her at Ninewells Hospital and during the course of a bus journey from the hospital to various locations in Dundee.

Gray, formerly of Roundhill Road in St Andrews but now a prisoner at HMP Perth, was also found guilty of sexually assaulting her during the same incident by trying to handle her clothed body.

Sheriff Paul Brown sentenced Gray to six months in prison and placed him on the Sex Offenders’ Register for seven years.

‘Dog robbery’

A woman was allegedly attacked before being robbed of her dog at an address in Dundee.

Brian Bennett, 37, and Michelle Bennett, 40, are accused of assaulting the woman on October 8 last year at an address on Abbotsford Street.

The pair allegedly barged into the woman’s home before punching her repeatedly on the head, pulling her hair and striking her head against a wall before robbing her of the dog.

Michelle Bennett, of Balunie Avenue, and Brian Bennett, of Drummond Crescent in Perth, had their case at Dundee Sheriff Court continued without plea.

A case management hearing will be held next month.

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