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Man admits a string of charges including shoplifting and assault

The case called at Inverness Sheriff Court
The case called at Inverness Sheriff Court

A man who stole more than £700 worth of alcohol from Moray supermarkets has admitted a string of charges including shoplifting, assault and possession of a class A drug.

James Blain, 38, appeared at Inverness Sheriff Court via videolink and pleaded guilty to three charges of theft by shoplifting, two of threatening or abusive behaviour, one of assault to injury and one of possession of a controlled Class A drug.

He also admitted breaching bail conditions.

The court heard that Blain had appeared on petition three times since June of this year, and on the third appearance in September had been remanded to custody, where he currently remains.

Fiscal Depute David Morton told the court that the guilty pleas related to a string of offences that took place between June 4 and September 12.

Alcohol thefts captured on CCTV

On June 4 Blain stole whisky and a shopping basket with a value of £195 from the Co-op in Fochabers High Street, while on June 10 he stole a quantity of alcohol valued at £541.50 from the supermarket chain’s branch in Faroes Court, Lossiemouth.

Then on August 5 he targeted another branch of the Co-op in Queen Street, Lossiemouth, twice, stealing alcohol of an unknown value.

Mr Morton told the court the thefts were “captured on CCTV.”

Blain also admitted assaulting a former partner and two counts of threatening or abusive behaviour towards her.

The court heard the assault charge and one of the other incidents related to June 12 of this year when an argument between Blain and the woman at an address in Fochabers escalated.

‘He spat in his partner’s face’

Mr Morton said: “He spat in his partner’s face and kicked her on the body. He went into the kitchen and returned with the WiFi router, which he threw at her face.”

The court heard that Blain then flipped a glass table, causing it to shatter.

Police were called and when they arrested Blain a short distance away.

Mr Morton told the court: “He volunteered to arresting officers that he had a wrap of cocaine,” prompting the possession charge.

A separate threatening or abusive behaviour complaint related to an incident between the pair on September 12.

The court heard that the pair were at the woman’s home when Blain began shouting and swearing at her, calling her “an unfit mother” and “a grass” he later threw a bag at her as she was entering a vehicle.

Sheriff Sara Matheson was told that Blain also breached bail conditions, including one preventing him from contacting his former partner.

Sheriff Matheson ordered a criminal justice social work report as well as assessments for suitability for the Caledonian Project and a drug treatment and testing order before sentencing takes place in the new year.

Blain was remanded in the mean time.

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