A lout met pals at an Aberdeen bar to sell them heroin, but punched one and stole the other’s phone when they discovered the class A drug was actually coffee.
Paul Harper tried to shift the blame to his supplier when challenged over the bags of coffee, Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard, and borrowed a mobile phone to call them.
But, according to prosecutors, the 33-year-old decided he would keep the phone, and punched the partner of the woman he stole it from when he tried to grab it back.
Fiscal depute Lynzi Souter told Aberdeen Sheriff Court the complainers, a couple, had received a text from Harper offering to sell them heroin on August 6 this year.
They agreed to buy £40 worth and met at the Bobbin on King Street to carry out the deal.
Harper handed the man two bags of brown powder and a pipe, but he thought the contents “did not feel like heroin”.
Harper asked for the money but the man burst one of the bags to check the contents – realising it was “coffee and not heroin as agreed”.
The court heard Harper then asked to borrow the woman’s phone to call the person he bought the “supposed drugs” from.
She agreed and handed him her Nokia mobile, valued at £10. But Harper made to walk off with the device and she shouted at him to return it.
Harper then returned and told the man his daughter had “ripped him off” and he was going to keep the phone as a result.
‘Accused dropped strimmer and bit the security guard to his left nipple’
The man replied that the daughter’s actions had “nothing to do with him” and again asked for the phone back, but Harper became aggressive and warned he would “smash their faces in”.
When the man reached out to take the phone back, Harper punched him in the face, leaving him with redness to his cheek.
Harper admitted charges of theft, assault to injury and behaving in a threatening or abusive manner over the incident.
In a separate incident a day later, on August 7, Harper tried to steal a petrol multi-tool garden strimmer from Lidl on Hutcheon Street and bit a security guard on the nipple when stopped.
Mrs Souter told the court the incident happened at 2.20pm, with the security guard watching Harper stroll out of the shop with the sizeable item, worth £129.99, without paying.
As he left, the security guard grabbed hold of him to prevent him getting away.
Mrs Souter said: “While being held, the accused dropped the strimmer and bit the security guard to his left nipple.”
‘He’d never have got away with it’
He also grabbed a metal pole that had been part of a display and swung it in an attempt to hit the guard.
Other staff then weighed in and Harper was restrained.
Harper, a prisoner of HMP Grampian, admitted theft by shoplifting and assault to injury over that incident.
Defence agent Iain Hingston said: “For what it’s worth, his position is he was in the grip of a pretty serious drug addiction himself.
“His position is he was there to buy drugs from them.”
Regarding the Lidl incident, Mr Hingston said: “What he was trying to take was massive – a box about 5ft long.
“He’d never have got away with it.”
He added Harper had been “tackled” by staff and the display that the pole came from was smashed in the process of that.
Sheriff Morag McLaughlin ordered him to be jailed for 12 months.
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