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Serial offender jailed over theft and attempt to ‘buy off’ victim

A serial offender with a “terrible” criminal record has been jailed for three years.

Dale Russell was sentenced in his absence at Hamilton Sheriff Court after refusing to appear on a videolink from prison.

Russell, 27, admitted stealing clothing, fishing gear and computer games from a neighbour’s flat in Stanhope Place, Wishaw, in May last year.

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He also admitted attempting to pervert the course of justice by offering the neighbour £700 to withdraw a police statement and “keep quiet”.

Russell also pleaded guilty to charges involving threatening or abusive behaviour and possession of a razor blade and a knife.

The court heard he tried to bribe his neighbour because he didn’t want to go back to jail.

He had been freed from prison only a month before and was on a supervised release order.

The razor blade was found when he was searched by police. It was wrapped in tape and fell from his anus.

He was later found to have a craft knife while he was detained in a cell at the court.

Russell told staff there: “I can’t believe the police missed this.”

Defence solicitor Stephen McQuillan said his client has “a long history of health issues”.

Mr McQuillan stated: “He won’t engage with anyone, including the prison authorities, and isolates himself.

“His previous convictions suggest he is a significant danger to the public, but he has a history of self-harm and that is what the blades were for.”

After studying background reports, Sheriff Andrew McIntyre said: “Clearly he has real issues and that causes concern. His record is terrible.”

The three-year sentence was backdated to October 13, 2020, because of time already spent in custody.

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