Teenager de­tained over car-jack­ing

CourT: Fife man at­tacked Good Sa­mar­i­tan who stopped to help

The Courier & Advertiser (Dundee Edition) - - NEWS - GARY FITZ­PATRICK

A Fife teenager has been sent to de­ten­tion for a vi­o­lent car-jack­ing in which he at­tacked a driver who stopped to help him.

Good Sa­mar­i­tan Marc Copeland tried to as­sist Andrew Smith, whose car had be­come stuck in mud in a Lochgelly pub­lic park at around 2am.

How­ever, when the ef­forts to free the ve­hi­cle proved un­suc­cess­ful, Smith at­tacked his vic­tim, smash­ing his glasses and tak­ing his car keys.

Smith, 19, then drove Mr Copeland’s car at speed into his own ve­hi­cle in another at­tempt to free it.

Both cars were smashed up as a re­sult then Smith or­dered Mr Copeland to get into the pas­sen­ger seat of his own ve­hi­cle, along with his dog.

Smith drove off in his vic­tim’s car crash­ing into a round­about shortly af­ter­wards.

Mr Copeland, 21, from Ballingry, then ran from his own car with his dog and hid in a gar­den to es­cape from Smith.

Smith was found guilty of as­sault­ing Mr Copeland on De­cem­ber 28 last year at Melville Street, Lochgelly, af­ter a trial at Dun­fermline Sher­iff Court.

When he re­turned to court for sen­tenc­ing, Sher­iff Charles MacNair im­posed an 18-month pe­riod of de­ten­tion, fol­lowed by a nine-month su­per­vised re­lease or­der.

Smith was also banned from driv­ing for a year.

Smith de­manded that Mr Copeland got out of his car, he then punched him on the head, took the car keys and drove the car, all to his vic­tim’s in­jury and robbed him of the keys and the car.

He had ad­mit­ted that he was driv­ing as a pro­vi­sional li­cence holder with­out ‘L’ plates and with­out in­sur­ance.

Mr Copeland, a painter, told the court that he had been out ‘lamp­ing’ for rab­bits with his pet lurcher and a friend.

He was driv­ing his car, a 16-plate Ford Fi­esta, hav­ing just passed his test ear­lier that month.

Be­tween 2am and 3am they came across Smith whose car had be­come stuck in mud.

Smith, a com­plete stranger to them, asked for help but when the ef­forts to free his car failed, Mr Copeland drove to another part of the park.

How­ever, Smith ran over to the car, pulled open the pas­sen­ger door and or­dered Mr Copeland’s 17-year-old friend to get out.

“Then I got out and got hit in the face by Andrew. My glasses were bro­ken,” said Mr Copeland.

He said he had fought back but then Smith said he had a knife and grabbed the car keys from him.

“He was do­ing donuts on the grass then crashed my car into his,” said Mr Copeland.

“My car was wrecked at the front and the other car was the same, the bumper was off.”

The in­ci­dent ended with Smith crash­ing the Fi­esta and Mr Copeland run­ning off and hid­ing.

Asked how he felt dur­ing the or­deal, Mr Copeland said: “Pet­ri­fied.”

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