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Man with knife disarmed on bus after theft row

Inverness Justice Centre
Inverness Justice Centre

A bus journey from Caithness to Inverness turned violent when passengers had to disarm a thief who produced a knife after being challenged about stealing.

The drama unfolded on the X99 Stagecoach bus on February 8 this year following Tain man Daniel McLean boarding the southbound vehicle at Castletown.

He was jailed for 16 months on Tuesday by Sheriff Gordon Fleetwood after admitting threatening behaviour with a knife, unlawful possession of the blade and theft.

Also on the bus was a man scheduled for an overnight stay in Raigmore Hospital in Inverness. He was accompanied by a friend.

Inverness Sheriff Court heard that the passenger had a bag containing his headphones, a mobile phone and his medication.

Fiscal depute Allison Young told the court that McLean, of Mansfield Estate, got on the bus and immediately complained about the lack of heating.

She said he moved around the bus looking for another seat before lying down on the floor near the other two men who fell asleep.

But when one of the passengers woke up and went to retrieve his mobile phone, he discovered the items were missing.

“The only person near to him had been McLean. He approached the bus driver and told him of the theft.”

Mrs Young said the bus was stopped near Tain and the driver left to call the police, after locking the door behind him.

By this time, McLean was wearing the stolen headphones round his neck and when the man got his friend to ring his phone, he could hear it in McLean’s pocket. He was challenged about the theft.

At this point McLean produced the knife but after a struggle with other passengers, he was disarmed, Mrs Young added.

Police arrived and arrested McLean who later claimed he had been loaned the headphones. The stolen property was recovered.

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