Man who stole machinery in Glenrothes valued at £21,000 faces jail

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A man who admitted stealing machinery in Glenrothes valued at around £21,000 has been told he faces a custodial sentence after lying to a social worker.

Graham Burke, of Balmuirwood, Tealing, Dundee appeared before Sheriff Timothy Niven-Smith at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court on Thursday.

Burke, 41, admitted on August 15, 2019 at Woodgate Way North, Glenrothes, he stole a trailer, two industrial lawnmowers and a quantity of aluminium ramps.

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The Procurator Fiscal Depute told the court the trailer had been attached to the owner’s van and it was parked in an industrial estate at his workplace at 8.00am on the day in question.

The case called at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court.The case called at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court.
The case called at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court.

She said when the owner came back at 3.00pm, the trailer was gone.

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The Depute continued: “A neighbouring property had CCTV which showed at around 2.00pm a red Ford Transit van attended and a man got out, unhooked the trailer and hooked it onto his vehicle before driving off. The man in the dock was identified as the driver of the Ford Transit van."

She said the value of the machinery taken was £21,300 and it was not recovered.

The court heard the accused was traced later in Buckhaven.

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Sheriff Timothy Niven-Smith had been due to sentence Burke at the hearing, but said he could not do so as the accused had lied to the social worker who had prepared a report.

The sheriff said: “I have a suspicion that you lied to the social worker in the preparation of this report with a view to minimising your involvement because you recognise that you are likely to receive a custodial sentence.

“You have placed yourself in a difficult position.

“The court is seriously considering a custodial sentence in this case.”

Sheriff Niven-Smith gave Burke until the end of the month to find a new defence lawyer after his solicitor withdrew from acting on his behalf.

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He told the accused: “Come to court with a bag on the next occasion because unless your solicitor persuades me otherwise, you are staring at a custodial sentence on your next appearance.”

Sheriff Nicen-Smith continued the case until May 31 when the accused is ordained to appear. His bail was continued meantime.