Teenager fined for stealing flags during indyref

A TEENAGER who stole flags and bunting from his neighbours gardens on the run up to the Scottish independence referendum, appeared in court today and was fined almost £400.

Darren Paterson, 18, admitted to stealing a quantity of saltire and lion rampant flags from two neighbouring gardens in David’s Loan, Falkirk, as well as a “Yes” placard and bunting last September.

Falkirk Sheriff Court heard the total value of the decorations stolen in one of the garden’s was POUNDS 65, but the value of the other was not known.

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Depute Fiscal, Graham McLachlan said today: “The incident took place around the time of the Scottish independence referendum.”

He told the court that both of the houses on David’s Loan, Falkirk, were supporting the “Yes” campaign, and had flags and bunting in their front gardens.

He said one of the homeowners realised “the items were missing and was concerned someone had stolen them.”

He added: “It was sometime later that the accused was going past the person’s garden and it became apparent that he was the person who had taken them.”

Paterson, of Morar Drive, Falkirk pled guilty to stealing “a quantity of flags, bunting and a placard” from an address at David’s Loan, Falkirk, on September 5 2014.

He also pled guilty to a further charge that on the same date and in the same street, he stole “a quantity” of flags from another garden.

Steven Biggam, defending, said today: “He was seen in the second garden with the saltire flag and bunting from garden one.

“He is aware that this type of conduct is unacceptable.”

He added that Paterson has now “mended” his relationship with the neighbours, which had deteriorated over the period the incident took place.

Sheriff Mungo Bovey said: “I am going to deal with this matter by way of a fine.”

Sheriff Bovey fined Paterson £360.