Drug cocktail led to crime
Branded ‘brainless’by sheriff
A man responsible for a crime wave in Auchterarder was given 24 months behind bars this week.
Michael McNeilage’s catalogue of offending was described as “in the brainless category” by Sheriff Lindsay Foulis.
Perth Sheriff Court was told the 33- year- old had been high on a cocktail of prescription drugs when he smashed open the front door of Simon Howie’s butcher shop in the town’s High Street shortly after 2am on April 22.
A member of the public tackled him as he emerged from the premises clutching the cash register.
That was dropped during a struggle and both men fell to the ground.
But McNeilage, of nearby Abbotsford Terrace, made good his escape.
He was identified from CCTV cameras in the premises and witnesses also told police he had been wearing a distinctive T shirt at the time.
Officers went to his home, where he was still wearing the T-shirt and had small cuts on his hand.
When challenged, he said: “I was attacked by 50 guys and I used the till as self-defence.”
It was later discovered that the till was empty.
Damage to the shop totalled £250, depute fiscal John Malpass told the court.
Two days earlier the accused had stolen four bottles of spirits, worth £101, from the local Co-op outlet.
He also caused £ 500- worth of damage when he hurled a rock through the window of the Gleneagles Furniture store, also in the Lang Toon’s High Street, on June 17.
That was witnessed by two people who knew him.
He made no attempt to get away and was soon in police custody.
McNeilage also admitted flouting a home curfew bail condition when he smashed the store window.
Solicitor Rosie Scott conceded that her client had a “significant record” of offences for dishonesty and had only been released from a 30-month jail term in December 2015.
He had been on prescribed medication for depression, was also taking sleeping tablets and was still on methadone for a long-standing drug problem.
She added: “He had too many sleeping tablets and the net effect was he got something of a buzz. It was like a Valium buzz.
“He realises he shouldn’t have mixed the medication in that way.”
Sheriff Foulis told McNeilage: “Your conduct is impulsive, it’s stupid and it happens time after time after time.”
He backdated the two- year sentence to June 19, when McNeilage was first remanded.