Masked teenager beat Kirkcaldy woman as she slept in bed

Steven Paul.
Steven Paul.
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A Kirkcaldy woman was attacked with a baseball bat as she slept by a masked intruder as part of a feud between criminals.

Steven Paul (18), of Hazel Avenue, Kirkcaldy, was responsible for the “vicious and prolonged” attack.

Dunfermline Sheriff Court on Tuesday heard he later went back to the house and caused flooding damage estimated at around £13,000.

An associate of Paul’s had wanted the victim to move out so that his mother could take over the tenancy.

Paul’s defence solicitor said he had fallen in with an older “criminal element” and was used as “a pawn” in their disputes with others,

Appearing for sentencing, Paul had previously admitted that on May 7, 2014, at 27 Hazel Avenue, he entered the house using a key and with his face masked, assaulted Danielle Young whilst she was in bed, repeatedly struck her with a baseball bat or similar implement to her injury. He also admitted that sometime between May 7 and July 1, 2014, also at 27 Hazel Avenue, he maliciously turned on bath taps, placed a face cloth in the plug hole causing damage to the house.

Defence solicitor Martin McGuire told the court that his client committed the offences after he “became embroiled in associating with older and more sophisticated criminal elements in Kirkcaldy”.

“He was used as a pawn in their on-going disputes with others,” he added.

His client had been living in homeless accommodation after leaving the family home and his life at the time had been chaotic said Mr McGuire.

Sheriff Charles Macnair said: “The attitude coming out in the social work report is that even now while he expresses some remorse, he struggles to appreciate the impact it would have had on the victim.

“He stated that at the time he had no remorse and no concern for the victim.”

Mr McGuire responded: “He has progressed in terms of his awareness.”

Sheriff Macnair told Paul: “You entered the complainer’s dwelling at night and carried out a vicious and prolonged assault with a baseball bat or something very similar.

“You then went back to her house and caused very significant damage by causing the flooding. The cost of that damage was about £13,000.

“I take into account you were young but assault of this kind is extremely serious. People are entitled to safety in their house no matter what issues there were between the complainer’s partner and anyone else and the background to this was the desire by somebody to take over the property.”

The sheriff pointed out that Paul carried out these offences while awaiting sentencing for two other matters, an assault and an assault to injury.

“It was also aggravated by the fact you went in with your face masked,” he said. “Had you been older you would have been facing a very lengthy period of custody.

“Assault by a masked man on somebody asleep in their bed is too serious to be dealt with by anything but a custodial sentence.”

The sheriff sentenced Paul to 16 months’ detention.