Drug cock­tail led to crime

Branded ‘brain­less’by sher­iff

Strathearn Herald - - STRATHEARN VIEW - Court re­porter

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.

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