A cake shop thief who claimed he lashed out at police because they called him a “fat b******” has been put on a curfew – so he can spend days in the gym.
A sheriff showed chubby robber Barry McQuaid mercy and let him walk free from court after being told he had started working out.
Sheriff William Wood said: “He has made progress and given the fact he is going to the gym that can all be done during the day.”
McQuaid, who stole a charity tin from a bakery to fund his drug habit, was placed on a curfew from 7pm – 7am for the next ten weeks.
Sheriff Wood said: “I thought this was a despicable act, stealing a charity tin from a bakery. A couple of days later police came and maybe said things they shouldn’t have said, but if they did you over-reacted to that.”
McQuaid previously told Perth Sheriff Court he was provoked into hurling abuse at police officers because they were taunting him for being overweight.
He said he lashed out at the officers because when they came to arrest him they were calling him a “fat b******.”
The 34-year-old stole a poppy fund charity tin from Baynes Bakery after blagging a free cup of coffee from the unsuspecting staff.
Solicitor Pauline Cullerton told the court: “He felt aggrieved at being stopped by the police officers.
“The police were calling him names and he retaliated and acted in the manner to which he has pled guilty.”
“That’s because they were shouting at me,” McQuaid told the court. “They were calling me a fat b******.”
He told the sheriff: “I’m coming off the stuff you asked me to, the methadone and and Valium. All that’s stopped. I’m trying to get back to work, as a tree surgeon, trimming bushes.”
Fiscal depute Matthew Kerr said: “The accused attended at 6.10 am and stated he wanted a free cup of coffee as he was due one but didn’t have his loyalty card.
“When they opened the shop the staff had noticed there was a Poppy Appeal charity tin sitting on the counter near the window.
“The staff member turned her back to the counter to make the coffee. She handed it to the accused and he left.”
The tin was noted missing when the next customer volunteered to put his change in it. A member of the public reported seeing the empty tin in a wheelie bin the following morning.
The police were given a description of the culprit and spotted him two days later, so they stopped and searched him in the Letham area of Perth.
“He was handcuffed,” Mr Kerr said, “at which point started acting aggressively and was shouting and swearing at the police. He was arrested and taken to Perth police station.”
McQuaid, Princes Street, Perth, admitted stealing around £40 charity cash from the bakery in Rannoch Road, Perth, on 23 October 2019.
He also admitted that three days later in the city’s Campsie Road he acted in a threatening or abusive manner towards police officers.
Mrs Cullerton said: “He has no other matters outstanding since this offence in October 2019. He was under the influence of Valium at the time of committing the theft.”
Sheriff William Wood, who has a military background, said: “I have had to put aside some personal views in relation to the fact it’s the poppy tin you stole.
“I have given some serious thought to whether a jail sentence is most appropriate.”
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