Thief chased through Dundee Uni campus after stealing woman’s purse

The students' union

A thief was chased through the Dundee University campus after he grabbed a purse from a woman queuing to get into the students’ union.

Kieran McKenzie, 23, was forced to ditch the purse as his pursuers closed in on him, Dundee Sheriff Court heard.

McKenzie, of Hawkhill, made his escape but was traced by police shortly afterwards.

He admitted stealing a purse and its contents at Airlie Place on October 15 last year.

Fiscal depute Marie Irvine told the court the woman was standing in a queue of students waiting to get into Dundee University Students’ Association building with her purse lodged under her arm.

Ms Irvine said: “She suddenly felt the purse being pulled from under her arm and turned to see the accused running off towards Belmont Halls.

“The complainer and her friend chased after the accused and she was shouting ‘He’s got my purse’.”

The fiscal said passersby joined in the chase and McKenzie then dropped the purse and made off.

“It was recovered by the complainer,” Ms Irvine said.

McKenzie was later traced by police on mobile patrol in the early hours of the morning, she added.

Solicitor Anne Duffy said McKenzie suffered from epilepsy and had taken to recreational drugs as self-medication.

She said: “He acted completely out of character and has no explanation for his conduct on that night.

“Ordinarily he is a quiet, unassuming young man who is settled with a partner and this is his first appearance in a criminal court.”

Mrs Duffy handed over a letter written by McKenzie apologising for his actions and illustrating his remorse to the victim.

Sheriff John Rafferty deferred sentence until August 8, telling McKenzie if he was of good behaviour he could deal with the “totally reprehensible offence” by way of a financial penalty.