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Pensioner bashes drugged-up intruder with walking stick

Aberdeen Sheriff Court
Aberdeen Sheriff Court

A have-a-go pensioner fought off a junkie who sneaked into her house by bashing him with her walking stick, before telling him he was “a nice lad” as he cowered underneath her dining room table.

Edwin Murray, aged 24, was high on drugs when he made his way into 80-year-old Eileen Gallacher’s house on July 26 last year.

Ms Gallacher was in the shower when she heard her front door open, and received a shock when she went to investigate. But, rather than shout for help, she took on Murray and came out on top.

Fiscal depute Colin Neilson told Aberdeen Sheriff Court: “She walked out of the bathroom and saw the accused leaving her bedroom.

“She asked ‘who are you?’ and told him to get out. He walked towards the front door and just stood there. She picked up her walking stick and struck him twice. She is 80 years old.

“He then tried to hide under the dining room table and said he was sorry. She said ‘it’s okay, just leave’ and ‘you seem like a nice lad’.

“She received a phone call from her cousin, who told her to call the police. He was then cautioned and arrested.”

The accused had also been apprehended earlier that evening for being in possession of a knife, though he wasn’t armed when he entered Ms Gallacher’s house.

Murray, of St Clair Wynd, Newburgh, pleaded guilty to behaving in a threatening or abusive manner likely to cause fear or alarm. He also pleaded guilty to possession of a bladed article.

Defence agent Peter Shepherd said: “He remembers nothing about it. He is no longer consuming illegal substances.

Having looked at Murray’s social work report, Sheriff Graham Buchanan said: “The thing that comes through is that he really seems to have made an effort to try and improve his situation.”

He told Murray: “It is clear that this was a very frightening experience for the lady. However, I understand that you were there for no other reason that you were highly intoxicated.

“You were in possession of a knife earlier on, but there is no question of you having it when you went into this lady’s house.”

He sentenced him to 180 hours of unpaid work and also gave him an 18-month supervision order.

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