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Man leapt 20 feet to evade intruders breaking in to his flat, Highland court hears

By Ali Morrison

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A 20 year-old man leapt 20 feet from a first floor window into a garden and ran off when intruders forced their way into his flat.

Inverness Sheriff Court heard Morgan Stubbings (22) and James Alexander (23), both from Wick, smashed glass on the front door then trashed the property throwing televisions out of window, pulling a gas fire and cooker from their pipes and a wash hand basin off the wall in the bathroom, causing over £7000 worth of damage the cost of which was met by the council.

They were accompanied by Easter Ross man Patrick Stewart (22) of Ord Road in from Marybank.

Sheriff Margaret Neilson was told by depute fiscal Karen Aitken that at 2.46am on the morning of May 23 police were attending a flat in Huddart Street when the 19 year-old female occupier received a call from another female.

The phone was put on speaker in the presence of the police and the fiscal said the female caller had handed the phone to Stubbings who demanded money and made derogaratory and abusive remarks threatening the teenager. She broke down crying in front of the police.

Later the same day at about 11pm, Stubbings, Alexander and Stewart attended the property inHarrow Hill.

The 20 year-old male who occupied the flat had received a message from his mother that Stubbings and two others had been at her home looking for him.

"A few moments later he heard a knock at his door and a voice which he thought to be Stubbings asking to be let in."

The fiscal said the youth went to a window and heard the glass of his front door being smashed. On hearing male voices he jumped approximately 20 feet from the window to the garden and ran off.

Police patrolling in the area were alerted to the incident and attended.

They entered and found the accused. The property was very badly damaged.

Stewart and Alexander were abusive towards the police and while in custody Stewart was found to be in possession of a bank debit card belonging to the householder.

The fiscal said at the flat in Harrow Hill, Stubbings was heard by police saying: "He owes me £50 a day. If he does not pay up I'm tanning his house. Oh s... you're the police aren't you. I'd better shut up."

Stubbings, who is in custody at HMP Inverness, for breach of bail conditions and had an address in East End, Wick, pleaded guilty to threatening and abusive behaviour towards the young woman in Huddart Street and with Alexander, of Cliff Cottages, Papigoe forcing entry to the property and damaging the property in Harrow Hill.

Stewart admitted threatening and abusive behaviour towards police officers and theft of £43 and a bank card.

Sentence was deferred for reports until November 26.

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