Paisley thug jailed for bail breaches after flats fracas

Paisley Sheriff Court
Paisley Sheriff Court -Credit:Paisley Daily Express

A Paisley man who breached bail conditions and a non-harassment order has been jailed for eight months – but will be released from prison later this week.

Robert Crichton breached two separate court orders that prohibited him from contacting Jacqueline McWhirter by spending the night drinking with her at her flat in the town’s Gleniffer Court on January 3.

The 45-year-old was arrested after verbally abusing McWhirter which caused concerned residents of the high-rise block to call the police.

Procurator fiscal depute, Michael Cunningham told Paisley Sheriff Court Crichton first appeared in relation to this matter on January 4 and was remanded in custody where he has since remained.

Mr Cunningham explained: “The accused and Jacqueline McWhirter were within her flat at around 8pm consuming alcohol and an argument ensued on January 3.

“A witness Brown overheard loud shouting at this time. She heard a male voice shouting, ‘ya f*****g junkie b*****d'. She then heard the female crying and sobbing then shouting loudly for help.

“McWhirter was shouting in a scared and panicked voice and the witness Brown heard her shouting, ‘help me.’

“The witness Anderson who lives across the landing heard a loud crash and he then heard the accused – who he knows and has spoken with numerous times – shouting, ‘f*****g cow, ya b***h.’

“He then looked through his spyhole and observed the accused leaving the flat and then shouting through the letterbox asking for his keys. At 10.10pm, Brown contacted the police.

“Officers entered the main lobby at Gleniffer Court and observed the accused leaving. He was stopped and secured until enquiries had been carried out. PC Phanco carried out checks and established the accused had bail conditions in respect of McWhirter.”

Defence agent Terry Gallanagh told the court Crichton was aware of his conditions and that his record of offending “would choke the proverbial horse”.

Mr Gallanagh added: “Mr Crichton met Ms McWhirter at the romantic place of their local pharmacy. She invited him to her house and he told me, 'I couldn’t turn Jacqueline away, she was struggling with her mental health'.

“An argument ensued and he tried to leave but left his keys. He returned to get them and she refused to give them back and matters escalated. He has spent 113 days in custody which is the equivalent of a 226-day sentence.”

Sheriff Millar stated: “You were fully aware of the terms of the bail order and non-harassment order but still carried on. There is only an appropriate sentence and that is one of imprisonment.”

Crichton, described as a prisoner of HMP Low Moss, Bishopbriggs, East Dunbartonshire, was jailed for eight months reduced from 12 months, backdated to January 4, meaning he will be released from custody in a matter of days.

This is because people who are given a short term sentence are normally automatically released from prison into the community after serving half the time in prison.

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