Camelon offender committed crimes while he was in a ‘trance’

A zombie-like offender has been stumbling around in a drug and drink-induced trance, verbally abusing people, stealing property and generally making life difficult for those around him.

Tuesday, 28th January 2020, 3:16 pm

James Lawrence (35) was so out of it on drink and drugs he thought he had ordered food in a takeaway when he had not even spoken to anyone and when he was subsequently asked to leave, he racially abused staff.

On an earlier occasion he knocked on the door of his neighbour’s house and asked to be let into the party that he thought was going on before pinching watering cans from another resident’s shed.

Appearing from custody at Falkirk Sheriff Court last Thursday, Lawrence admitted behaving in a threatening and racially aggravated manner at Indiano’s, Main Street, Camelon, on October 12 last year.

He had also pled guilty to behaving in a threatening manner in Fairlie Street and Carmuirs Street in Camelon and stealing property from a premises in Carmuirs Street on July 7 last year.

Erin Illand, procurator fiscal depute, said: “The witnesses were working in the takeaway and they saw they accused, who was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, standing in the premises for a number of minutes.

“He said he was waiting for his food and was advised he had never made an order. He was then asked to leave. He had an outstanding bill of £7 which he owed the takeaway from a previous visit.

“The accused said you’ve conned me again and racially abused the member of staff. He was again asked to leave and he told the witness ‘I’m going to tell everyone you’ve been touching young girls’.

“The accused then left and police were contacted. He later told officers ‘what was I meant to have said?’.”

The court heard Lawrence was a regular customer at the takeaway and said he was sorry for how he acted.

As for the other offences, the procurator fiscal depute said: “It was 11.05pm and the woman was in her home when she became aware of knocking at her front door. She answered and was met by the accused, who appeared to be under the influence and stated ‘I’m coming in’.

“She told him he wasn’t coming in, he had the wrong house, she was a neighbour of his. He then said ‘who’s in?’ and ‘is this your house?’, before insisting that he come in. When she told him he wasn’t coming in he told her ‘I’ve got plenty drink’.

“She closed the door on him and he began repeatedly kicking it, then repeatedly punched a pane of glass in the door and then a window. Later at 11.15pm another resident looked through his window and saw the accused, who was clearly intoxicated, walking in his garden.

“The accused was using the light of his mobile phone because the area was very dark.”

The resident later found three hand saws and two watering cans had been taken from his shed.

Gordon Addison, defence solicitor, was at a loss as to why his client would have wanted the saws and watering cans.

“He had no idea what he was doing,” said Mr Addison. “He’s certainly not a horticulturist.”

Mr Addison added: “The consistent theme in both these cases was he had no memory of them because he was walking about in a trance – he consumes drugs and doesn’t know what he is doing.

“He thought there was a party in the house – that’s how intoxicated he was. He genuinely thought that’s where the party was.”

Sheriff John Mundy noted Lawrence, 13 Simpson Street, Camelon, had been in custody for a considerable period, but sentenced him to four months in prison to be served consecutively with his current sentence.