February 7, 2008
A CASTLE HUNTLY inmate failed to return to the open prison after becoming “smitten with the girl next door,” Perth Sheriff Court heard yesterday.
William McCartney Reid, now c/o HMP Barlinnie, was sentenced to an additional eight months’ imprisonment after spending 12 days at liberty.
The 36-year-old, jailed for a serious assault in 2004, had been sent to Castle Huntly last July.
On his arrival the accused was started on a four-week cycle that saw him spend one week in every four at liberty.
He had enjoyed seven periods of release, returning on time on each occasion, before he was convinced by a new partner to ignore his date of return.
Depute fiscal Vicki Bell said the accused had come to the end of his latest period of release in January.
He was expected at Buchanan Street bus station in Glasgow but did not appear, contacting the open prison later that day to say he had missed his bus.
Reid was told to return to Castle Huntly but did not. He was apprehended days later when arrested on an unrelated matter.
Solicitor Jamie Baxter told the court his client had taken a foolish decision arising from a relationship with a young lady, a neighbour, which began during one of his home visits, in November 2007.
Coming to the end of his January release Mr Baxter said the woman had asked Reid to stay and “foolishly agreed”.
“He was smitten,” the solicitor said.
“This relationship with the lady was his first with a member of the opposite sex in some five years.”
Yesterday Reid pled guilty to absconding from the open prison on January 16.
He had been sentenced to serve seven years and six months’ imprisonment by the High Court in Edinburgh on May 21, 2004 in relation to a charge of assault to severe injury, permanent disfigurement and danger to life.
In 1989 Reid was sentenced to 21 days’ imprisonment at Dundee Sheriff Court in relation to a charge of prison- breaking.