Stranraer Sheriff Court Files

All the lates from the dock.

Friday, 2nd July 2010, 1:25 pm

A WIGTOWN man sentenced to a six-month jail term for embezzlement has had his sentence overturned on appeal.

Sixty-three-year-old John Macdonald, from Beddie Crescent, pled guilty to taking 9,500 from Kent-based Aaron Property Developments, a company owned by Roy and Michelle Wilkinson, between May 2006 and August 2007, when acting as site manager.

In March, Macdonald was sentenced to prison by Sheriff Kenneth Robb at Stranraer Sheriff Court, but at the court of appeal in Edinburgh on June 11 this was overturned and replaced with 150 hours of community service.

CARELESS driving cost a Newton Stewart man 225 and six points on his licence at the sheriff court in Stranraer on Monday.

Daniel Taylor, 21, 1 Ewart Drive, admitted attempting to overtake a preceding car when it was unsafe to do so on the A75 near to Machermore junction on May 9 last year. The court heard that the other driver had to take evasive action to avoid a collision with Taylor's car.

A MAN who held a garden strimmer "to ransom" in his bedroom was fined 160 for its theft by Sheriff DS Corke at court on Monday.

John McVittie, 39, of Mansefield Place, Newton Stewart, admitted taking the strimmer, valued at 350, from 20 Drew Avenue in the town, between December 21 and 22 last year.

Fiscal depute Nadine Dormer told the court that the accused had previously worked for the complainer, and in a drunken phone call to his former girlfriend, told her of his plan to steal the stimmer. She, said the fiscal, was a business partner of the complainer.

In mitigation, lawyer Ian Milligan said that McVittie and the strimmer owner had become involved in a dispute over the ownership of a vehicle. This had motivated the accused to "hold the strimmer to ransom". When the theft was reported the accused quickly admitted it was in his bedroom.

Mr Milligan added that the parties were now reconciled and McVittie had purchased the strimmer from the complainer.

A NEWTON Stewart man who admitted drinking 75 units of alcohol a night was given 120 hours community service by Sheriff Kenneth Robb at Stranraer Court on Tuesday after pleading guilty to assault and breach of the peace.

Trevor McKnight, 27, 9 Mansefield Place, appeared for sentencing after admitting shouting, swearing and assaulting Megan Hall, by grabbing her on the body and spitting at her, at 3 Corvisel Court, on March 29.

Sentencing, Sheriff Robb said one of the most worrying aspects of the reports compiled on the accused was the amount of alcohol he was consuming.

The sheriff told McKnight: "You need to sort out your drinking problem."

A CREETOWN teenager who denied assault appeared at the court in Stranraer on Monday.

Eighteen-year-old Richard Lowrie, 39 Chain Terrace, pled not guilty to assaulting Marc Kennedy outside the Grapes Inn, Agnew Crescent, Wigtown, on January 1 this year. A continued interim diet of July 19 was arranged.

A DRUNK barman who assaulted a woman with whom he had become friends was fined 800 at Stranraer Court on Tuesday.

Fifty-year-old John Thomson, 32 Ashwood Drive, Stranraer, appeared from custody to admit assaulting Joanne Brough by punching her on the head and body to her injury in Fisher Street, Stranraer, on Monday.

Fiscal Nadine Dormer told the court that around 2am, the complainer had left the Commercial Inn in the town, closely followed by the accused. Thomson had then assaulted her leaving her with bruised ribs, scratches over her eyes and abrasions to her arms and legs.

Agent Tony McAndrew told the court Thomson had become acquainted with the complainer through her visits to the bar he worked in. But the friendship had "turned sour" and they had argued earlier that evening.

He added that both parties had been drinking. The accused was now ashamed of what he had done and he apologised to the court and the complainer.

Sheriff Kenneth Robb said that a man of his age ought to be past the "drunken ways of youth".

A MAN who challenged his teenage son to cut his throat with a meat cleaver during a family row appeared for sentencing at the sheriff court in Stranraer on Tuesday.

Kenneth Gladstone, 34, 7 Craiglea Avenue, Stranraer, admitted brandishing the meat clever, placing it into the hands of his 16-year-old son David Gladstone, forcing his son's hands to his throat and challenging him to cut him with the cleaver, at the family home on May 29, placing others there in a state of fear and alarm.

He also admitted struggling with four police officers trying to get him out of a police vehicle at Stranraer Police Station.

Fiscal Nadine Dormer told the court that father and son had fallen out that evening. When interview by the police, the accused, who had been drinking, said his actions towards his son were to "shut him up" adding "it was just my stupid sense of humour".

Defending , solicitor Jocelyn Aitken said her client was very embarrassed over his "reckless and foolish" actions. All this aggravation had been caused, she said, by a young boy standing up to his father.

Sentencing Gladstone to 120 hours of community service, Sheriff Kenneth Robb told Gladstone not to involve his son in his dramatic gestures.

He added that a teenage son challenging his father was quite normal and "part of the joy of having children".

DRINKING while watching a football match led to a brother and sister appearing from custody at the sheriff court in Stranraer on Tuesday.

Michael McKay, 22, of 15 Millview Terrace, Lochans, admitted shouting, swearing, throwing a garden ornament at Graham Burnside and committing a breach of the peace

His sister, Laura McKay, 29, admitted assaulting a police officer and attempting to punch her. Both incidents took place at Laura McKay's family home, 35 Garrick Drive.

Fiscal Nadine Dormer said earlier that evening Laura McKay's partner, Mr Burnside, had remained at home to put their children to bed while the brother and sister went out to find licensed premises after watching a game of football.

When both returned around half past midnight, they were under the influence of alcohol and an argument between complainer and the two accused erupted. Police received four separate complaints from neighbours about the noise coming from the house.

When officers arrived, Laura McKay "lashed out" at a female officer and had to be restrained on the ground. The fiscal added that the three young children in the house were all "hysterical" by this point.

Defending the two accused, lawyer Margo Nichol said that both were shameful and contrite about what had happened after having "far too much to drink".

She added that they were particularly mortified to have upset their neighbours and friends.

Laura McKay admitted starting the argument, but she was to drunk to remember what it had been about.

Sheriff Kenneth Robb fined them both 250.

THE Sheriff at Stranraer has ordered a woman to carry out 90 hours of community service following a joint investigation by Dumfries and Galloway Council in partnership with the Department of Work and Pensions.

Donna Linton (31) of Glenluce, admitted that she obtained benefit to which she was not entitled, by failing to disclose that she had started paid employment. The charge related to overpayments of Income Support, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit totalling 3,714 This amount is recoverable in full.

A Dumfries and Galloway Council spokesman said: "The latest government estimate (2009/10) is that 1 billion is lost from public funds every year through all benefit fraud."

If you know of anyone committing benefit fraud you can contact the Council's Benefit Fraud Team in confidence by telephoning 0800 085 7449 or emailing [email protected]

A GLENLUCE man who punched a minor was sent to a young offenders' institution for 145 days by Sheriff DS Corke at Stranraer Sheriff Court on Monday.

Fraser Irvine, of 5 Fellview Terrace, admitted punching a 13-year-old on the body in Stranraer, on February 10.