Sheriff opts for some community payback

Sheriff Craig Caldwell dished out community punishments to offenders
Sheriff Craig Caldwell dished out community punishments to offenders

Sheriff Craig Caldwell came close to jailing a number of offenders at Falkirk Sheriff Court last Thursday but no one ended up behind bars.

During the busy remand court in Camelon some people came closer than others to custodial sentences – with one criminal told he had escaped jail by “the skin of his teeth”. Andrew Simpson (23) pled guilty to behaving in a threatening manner and struggling violently with police officers at his 55 Carronside Street, Bainsford home on February 20.

Simpson was placed on a community payback order for 12 months with the condition he complete 120 hours of unpaid work in the community within four of those months.

Sheriff Caldwell said: “You have avoided a jail sentence on this occasion by the skin of your teeth.”

Craig Gallacher (31), who appeared from custody, had previously pled guilty to behaving in a threatening manner and assaulting a police officer in Princes Street and Vicar Street in Falkirk on February 20.

Sheriff Caldwell said: “You have come very close to receiving an extended jail sentence to day, but the report suggests an alternative to custody.”

Gallacher, 55 Grange Drive, Middlefield, was also placed on a community payback order for 12 months with the condition he complete 120 hours unpaid work within four months.

David Beattie (36), 43 Westquarter Drive, Redding, terrified shopkeepers, repeatedly demanding they hand over money, at Newmarket News, Newmarket Street, Falkirk, and admitted a breach of the peace at the premises on February 17 last year.

Sheriff Caldwell said: “You are very fortunate your much reduced plea was accepted by the crown. But for that you would be going to jail. This was very distressing for the ladies involved in your prolonged actions in their shop.”

Beattie was fined £450 and told to pay it at a rate of £50 per week.

Natasha Ford (26) has spent time in jail in the past and after admitting stealing clothes from Asda in Falkirk on November 12 last year, she was looking at more of the same.

Sheriff Caldwell said: “You served custodial sentences in the past. However, they have not stopped you committing more offences or helped you with your addictions.”

Ford was placed on a supervised community payback order for 12 months with the condition she engage with CADS (Community Alcohol and Drugs Service) and the Next Steps Residential Course.