A well-known busker who threatened to kill staff at a Hilltown takeaway claims he has become like a “caged animal” because he has been unable to perform due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
Harmonica player Edward Lafferty wound up in court for the third time since March after admitting making violent threats towards staff at Curryummy, Strathmartine Road – just months after spitting on an employee at the same eatery.
The 59-year-old – known by his nickname “Fast Eddie” – had previously pleaded guilty to racially abusing two men and spitting on one of them.
Lafferty was on special bail conditions not to enter the shop and was again released on bail when he appeared from custody at Dundee Sheriff Court.
His solicitor said Lafferty described himself as being a “caged animal” during the lockdown period and had committed the offence while under the influence of alcohol.
The court heard that Lafferty entered the shop just before 5pm on Thursday.
Fiscal depute Lisa Marshall said: “He was told to leave due to previous incidents. He then became aggressive and started shouting towards the son of the owner.
“He said ‘I’m going to ******* kill you, ******* idiots. I’m going to wreck your skull.'”
Lafferty’s abusive behaviour continued despite the owner of the shop reminding him that special bail conditions were in place.
A member of the public escorted Lafferty from the premises before he was traced by police a short time later.
Lafferty, of Kinghorne Walk, pleaded guilty to breaching bail conditions by entering the shop before shouting, swearing and making threats of violence.
Sentence had previously been deferred on Lafferty on the previous incidents for a social work report to be obtained.
Defence solicitor Anne Duffy said Lafferty suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and has severe learning difficulties.
She told Sheriff Jillian Martin-Brown that all three incidents had been sparked by a combination of Lafferty drinking alcohol and failing to take his medication.
Mrs Duffy said: “He has told the author of the report that he has been feeling like a caged animal during the pandemic because he wasn’t allowed out among the public.
“Mr Lafferty is well-known in Dundee as a harmonica player in the city centre. He enjoys music and does it on a daily basis.
“He plays his harmonica and gets enough money so he can buy alcohol. He understands he has placed his liberty in jeopardy.
“He does not cause any physical harm, it’s a combination of frustration and alcohol.”
Before granting him bail, Sheriff Martin-Brown deferred sentence on Lafferty until September for him to be of good behaviour.