Sheriff: Take the help I offer or face jail

Edinburgh Sheriff Court


By Calum Liddle

A man has been told to “turn his life around” in four weeks by a sheriff, after pleading guilty to nuisance behaviour and threatening neighbours in the Saughton area of Edinburgh.

David Melbourne, 21, of Stenhouse, had a public argument with a man after the sale of his dog fell through.

Melbourne was seen in the area shouting to residents “come and have a go” and threatened to petrol-bomb a flat. Witnesses then saw Melbourne banging on a door in Saughton Mains Terrace shortly after in an “aggressive and highly intimidating manner”, Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard.

Defence agent Marie Stewart said: “The primary witness is Mr Melbournes step-sister. They do not have a good relationship.”

The incident took place some time between 23.00 GMT and 00.30 GMT on Friday 16 October 2009.

Dean Alexander Smith and his brother William Melbourne, who were both with Melbourne during the confrontations, were acquitted of similar charges.

David Melbourne has a previous conviction for assault in April 2009 after affray on a bus. He was ordered to carry out 60 days community.

Sheriff Neil MacKinnon QC ordered background reports in the hope that external agencies can help shift Melbourne from a “life of revolving crime”.

“I am concerned that at just 21-years-old you already have a string of offences.

“You must sort out your life if you wish to avoid a lifetime in-and-out of prison. To do this, you need help.”

“I do not want to punish you. I want to help you. You must accept this help and turn your life around before I see you again.”

The Sheriff told Melbourne to “put the event behind” him.

Sentence has been deferred until 18 December 2009 following background reports.