Year's detention for Rothesay teen offender

ROTHESAY teenager Mark Cummiskey was sentenced to a year's detention at the town's sheriff court on Monday - after a sheriff said a background report on the persistent offender was "one of the worst I have ever read in 16 years on the bench".

Cummiskey (17), address given as 153C High Street, had admitted carrying out a string of petty offences throughout 2007, from throwing a rock through the window of a house in the town to causing damage worth 200 by kicking a moving car.

Fiscal depute Nadine Dormer recounted a dismal catalogue of crimes carried out by Cummiskey, beginning in the early hours of January 14 last year when he kicked open the front door of a flat in the town's Russell Street, entered the property and proceeded to smash its front window.

Then on August 21, again in the early hours of the morning, he smashed the living room window of a house in Dewar Avenue by throwing a rock through it; on being apprehended and cautioned by police, Cummiskey replied: "Was it no' the kitchen window I did?"

Next was an incident in Montague Street, near Tower Street, on September 14, when the driver of a vehicle passing down the carriageway saw Cummiskey running at the car and kicking it while it was still moving, causing a "sizeable dent" in the rear offside corner.

On being arrested by police in Guildford Square a short time later Cummiskey struggled violently with two officers, resulting in a further charge of resisting arrest.

Cummiskey also pleaded guilty to assaulting and injuring a man in Castlehill Street on October 18 by repeatedly punching him on the body, a charge also admitted by Cummiskey's co-accused, 20-year-old Craig Lindsay, whose address was given as 13 Watson Place, Ardbeg.

Finally, acting again along with Lindsay, Cummiskey admitted stealing a hooded sweater from the Just Menswear store in Montague Street on November 19.

Cummiskey's solicitor Jim Hannay said alcohol had been at the root of many of his client's problems; he had been drinking since the age of 12, and had also taken to using drugs, including cannabis and Valium, resulting in some of his friends becoming concerned that Cummiskey was "losing control".

However, Mr Hannay also said Cummiskey was aware of the consequences for his health, and said that help at this stage "might prevent further offending, and stop his abuse of drugs and drink".

Prior to sentencing Cummiskey to 12 months' detention, Sheriff John Herald referred to a background report which stated that Cummiskey took delight in the culture of joyridings, stabbings and shootings, would "quite happily drink anything", had a highly selective memory and had several hundred pounds outstanding in unpaid fines, having made very few, if any, repayments.

"This is one of the worst background reports I have seen in my 16 years on the bench," the sheriff remarked.

"There is only one disposal appropriate for this whole catalogue of offending."