A thief who robbed a cake shop claimed he hurled abuse at police officers because they were taunting him for being overweight.
Barry McQuaid said he lashed out at the officers who responded after they called him a “fat b*****d.”
The 33-year-old stole a poppy fund charity tin from Baynes Bakery after he persuaded unsuspecting staff to give him a free coffee. Solicitor Pauline Cullerton told Perth Sheriff 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*****d.”
Fiscal depute Matthew Kerr said: “The accused attended at 6.10am 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 went to put his change in it.
A member of the public saw the empty tin in a wheelie bin the following morning.
The police were given a description of the culprit and officers stopped McQuaid when he was spotted days later in the Letham area of Perth.
“He was handcuffed,” Mr Kerr said, “at which point he started acting aggressively and was shouting and swearing at the police. He was arrested and taken to Perth police station.”
McQuaid, of Princes Street, Perth, admitted stealing around £40 of charity cash from the bakery in Rannoch Road, Perth on October 23 last year.
He also admitted that three days later in the city’s Campsie Road he acted in a threatening or abusive manner towards police. 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. Clearly stealing any charity tin is a despicable course of conduct.”
Deferring sentence for six months for McQuaid to behave, the sheriff said: “This has jail sentence written all over it, unless you can prove otherwise to me.”
McQuaid replied: “I will prove otherwise to you. Thank you very, very much.”
He had sentence deferred until next April for good behaviour and was bailed with a special condition banning him from the bakery. Police Scotland refused to comment.