Court Files

ALL the latest from Stranraer Sheriff Court.

Horse care charge

A TOP horsewoman and her mother appeared at Stranraer Sheriff Court on Monday charged with keeping six horses in sub-standard conditions at their home.

Ruth Copeland-Wing, 22, who recently won a top prize at Wigtown Show, and her mother, Veronica, 57, of Barlockhart Lodge, Glenluce, pled guilty to the charge, committed between October and December.

Fiscal Kay Christie said the SSPCA called at the stables on December 23rd as part of an ongoing investigation, after they received complaints. The horses were not actually suffering, but the conditions they were being kept in were below SSPCA standards.

Solicitor Kenneth Paterson said the two had been "overstocked" with horses at that time and spend their money on feed, rather than the repairs that were needed. But the accused's "lack of speed" in dealing with the unacceptable conditions was frustrating the SSPCA.

The situation had been exacerbated by flooding, which had resulted in damp bedding and difficulty in cleaning out the stables. Mr Paterson said after consultation with the Copeland-Wings' vet and the SSPCA the number of horses had been reduced and, since then, conditions had improved "a great deal".

He added that both women had a strong emotional attachment to the horses and the SSPCA was still monitoring the situation.

Sheriff Kenneth Robb decided to defer sentence for eight months for reports from the SSPCA regarding the maintainence and ongoing welfare of the horses. The case will be called again on April 24th.

'Like the wild west'

A SHERIFF likened the case he had just heard to "the wild west, not the west of Scotland" after two men appeared in the dock at Stranraer Sheriff Court on Monday.

Brian Jess, 53, 2 Woodland Road, Stranraer pled guilty to assaulting a police officer at Springers Bar, Rose Street, on May 10th, when she tried to break up a fight.

Co-accused James McMillan, 27, 12 Oakland Avenue, Stranraer, pled guilty to breach of the peace in the same pub the same night.

Fiscal Kay Christie said there was a large group in the pub that evening, many of whom had been drinking for a considerable time. There was a "fall out" with others who were outwith the group and as the situation deteriorated the police were contacted.

They arrived to find a fight in progress and went in to try to take control of the situation. One officer went to restrain Jess from fighting but he grabbed her by the throat.

Representing Jess, lawyer Margo Nicol said he was "horrified" to be in court and wanted to apologise to the officer he assaulted. Alcohol had played a big part in his involvement in the fight and he was ashamed.

McMillan's solicitor Paul Feeney said he accepted he had acted inappropriately.

Sheriff Kenneth Robb fined Jess 225 and McMillan 180.

Crutch attack case

ASSAULTING another woman with her crutch after she called her "a cripple" resulted in a fine of 180 for a 22-year-old woman at Stranraer Sheriff Court on Monday.

Sarah Wallace, of 12 Hampton Court, pled guilty to assaulting Ann-Marie McEwan by repeatedly striking her on the body and head with a crutch to her injury within Hampton Court on June 8th last year.

Lawyer Michael Kilkerr told the court that, earlier in the evening, Wallace's sister had fallen out with the victim and took refuge in Wallace's house. Wallace, who needed crutches after breaking her foot, opened the door to the victimand took offence when she referred to her as a cripple.

500 for assault

A FINE of 500 was imposed on a Port William man who admitted assaulting another man after a night out in Stranraer.

Donald Jolly, (26), 65 Main Street, pled guilty to repeatedly punching Damian Thomson to his injury in George Street, Stranraer, on May 16th. Jolly readily admitted he had punched Mr Thomson, who, added a solicitor, was not "completely innocent" in the matter.

Sheriff Kenneth Robb fined Jolly 500.

800 for damage

A STRANRAER man who smashed the security barrier at the sheriff court in Stranraer was ordered to pay compensation by Sheriff Kenneth Robb at the same court on Tuesday.

James Ferguson, 22, of Balerno, Lewis Street, appeared for sentencing after pleading guilty to a series of offences.

He admitted damaging the entrance barrier at the Sheriff Court House in Lewis Street, Stranraer on July 14th, to assaulting Jason Hill by punching him in the Bridge Arms Flat,Bridge Street, Stranraer, threatening people with violence and breaking bail conditions on July 15th and breaking bail conditions again on July 16th.

Sheriff Robb told Ferguson he had made "a mess of things" in the last few weeks before fining him 100 for damaging the barrier and ordering him to pay 800 compensation.

On the other charges he was put on probation for 18 months, ordered to do 70 hours of community service and put on a restriction of liberty order for six months.

Shoplifter in dock

A STRANRAER woman who stole 45 of toiletries from Boots on Monday appeared from custody at the sheriff court in Stranraer on Tuesday to plead guilty to the charge.

Elizabeth Dempster, of 1 Foundry Lane, will appear for sentencing on September 22nd after Sheriff Kenneth Robb adjourned the case for reports.

'Self-harm' texts

A DRUNK woman who sent texts to her partner sleeping upstairs claiming she was going to harm herself appeared from custody at Stranraer Sheriff Court on Tuesday.

Catherine Watkins, 34, of 19 McGregor Drive, Minnigaff, admitted threatening to harm herself, threaten to stab another and assaulting Robert Davis by repeatedly kicking him at their home on Tuesday night.

Fiscal Kenny Grieve said police received a call telling them Watkins was "suicidal". When they arrived they found she was heavily intoxicated and threatening to cut herself.

An ambulance was called, but when it arrived the accused calmed down. The emergency services left, but the police received a further call at 1.30am telling them Watkins was threatening to harm herself again. The police returned and she was arrested.

Solicitor Ian Milligan said Watkins' partner, Mr Davis, was upstairs sleeping while she was downstairs watching a music channel and sending him texts saying she was thinking of self-harming. Mr Milligan said this was "a strange way to behave."

He added his client now accepted she needed some assistance to help her deal with her alcohol problems.Sheriff Kenneth Robb deferred sentence until September 22nd and ordered that Watkins be kept in custody.

Assault charge

A NEWTON Stewart man was given 120 hours of community service at the sheriff court in Stranraer on Tuesday after assaulting a woman following a "spectacular" drinking session.

Alan Hedley, (42), of Hillview Terrace, York Road, appeared for sentencing after pleading guilty to assaulting Wendy Kelly by slapping her on the head to her injury, and shouting derogatory remarks at her in Queen Street, Newton Stewart, on July 23rd.

Lawyer Paul Feeney said Hedley had the habit of putting himself in difficult circumstances by getting involved in spectacular drinking sessions, and keeping the same company, which resulted in him offending and appearing in court.

Sheriff Kenneth Robb also decided to continue Hedley's probation order, warning him to "keep out of trouble".

Car and cash claim

TWO men appeared at Stranraer Sheriff Court on Tuesday to plead not guilty to defrauding a man of his car and 2,000 of cash.

John Baxter (41), of Doonpark Caravan Site, Dalbeattie, and Jason Coffey (26), of 16 Thistle Grove, Dumfries, deny pretending to William Ferrie, at 20 South Main Street, Wigtown, and elsewhere, that they had a digger for sale for 6,500.

It is also alleged they caused Mr Ferrie to enter into an agreement with them to exchange his car and 2,000 for the digger, that they pretended the digger was being transported from Northern Ireland to a farm near Whithorn but that it was stuck on a ferry and delayed.

It is furthered claimed they caused Mr Ferrie to leave his car keys, 2,000, the vehicle registration document and MoT certificate inside his car, caused him to write a receipt for the car, and then took the car and money by fraud.

The two will appear for trial on December 2nd.

Row teen caged

A WHITHORN teenager who repeatedly caused problems at his family home was jailed at Stranraer Sheriff Court on Tuesday.

Anthony Woolley, 19, of 10 Isle Street, appeared for sentencing after admitting damaging a carpet and a vase by pouring glue over them after an argument with his mother at 14 St Ninian's Terrace, Whithorn, on March 7th.

He also pleaded guilty to shouting and swearing and challenging his father to a fight, placing his mother and his sister in a state of fear and alarm on July 19th at the same address and also to breaching his supervised attendance order.

Solicitor Michael Kilkerr said although a custodial sentence seemed inevitable, Woolley was keen to get back to work as when he was in employment he seemed to cause the least trouble to his family.

Sheriff Kenneth Robb imprisoned Woolley for a total of 140 days.

A STRANRAER man who smashed the security barrier at the sheriff court in Stranraer was ordered to pay compensation by Sheriff Kenneth Robb at the same court on Tuesday.

James Ferguson, 22, of Balerno, Lewis Street, appeared for sentencing after pleading guilty to a series of offences.

He admitted damaging the entrance barrier at the Sheriff Court House in Lewis Street, Stranraer on July 14th, to assaulting Jason Hill by punching him in the Bridge Arms Flat,Bridge Street, Stranraer, threatening people with violence and breaking bail conditions on July 15th and breaking bail conditions again on July 16th.

Sheriff Robb told Ferguson he had made "a mess of things" in the last few weeks before fining him 100 for damaging the barrier and ordering him to pay 800 compensation.

On the other charges he was put on probation for 18 months, ordered to do 70 hours of community service and put on a restriction of liberty order for six months.

A STRANRAER woman who stole 45 of toiletries from Boots on Monday appeared from custody at the sheriff court in Stranraer on Tuesday to plead guilty to the charge.

Elizabeth Dempster, of 1 Foundry Lane, will appear for sentencing on September 22nd after Sheriff Kenneth Robb adjourned the case for reports.