Scotland’s worst coronavirus rule breaker has been branded a danger to the public after being tackled by police seven times in a month during the national lockdown.
Ross McFarlane, 22, has persistently flouted the emergency regulations imposed by the government to keep people indoors.
A court was told on Thursday McFarlane has been stopped and quizzed by officers seven times between April 7 and May 10.
He has been caught breaking rules by being outdoors without a legitimate reason and has been breaking social distance guidelines by approaching people and demanding money.
Dundee Sheriff Court was told McFarlane, of Skinnergate, Perth, has been issued with four fixed penalties and arrested on two other occasions.
The final incident saw him being arrested again and on Thursday he admitted breaking coronavirus regulations on May 10 in Florence Place, Perth.
Depute fiscal Jill Drummond said: “The accused has been given repeated opportunity to comply with the regulation, but paid no attention to the warning and police instruction.
“At 11.30am on Sunday 10 May an officer was on patrol when he traced the accused begging outside Aldi at Inveralmond Estate. The accused was unable to provide a reasonable excuse why he was outside.
“He was instructed to return home.”
However, around an hour later, McFarlane was spotted still wandering around the streets of Perth.
McFarlane told police: “I’ve only been out for two hours.”
He was arrested and initially denied the charge on May 11.
At that stage, depute fiscal Lisa Marshall said: “The accused is continually flouting Covid 19 regulations to beg. There is no reason for him to leave his accommodation.”
Solicitor David Holmes, defending, said McFarlane had spent 10 days in custody facing a charge which did not carry a custodial sentence.
He added: “He has been in custody and has been treated well and feels much better than he did on May 11.
“I would invite the court to take the view that sufficient punishment has been imposed upon him already.”
Sheriff Alison Mackay admonished McFarlane but warned him that if he broke the lockdown rules again he would be certain to end up back behind bars.
She said: “You seem to think these regulations don’t apply to you. I trust that the time you have spent in custody has brought home that they do apply to you.”
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