‘Yoghurt-stealing’ cocaine addict’s Covid threat to Kirkcaldy Asda staff

The incident happened at the Asda in Kirkcaldy.
The incident happened at the Asda in Kirkcaldy.

A man suspected of pilfering yoghurts from a Fife supermarket has been jailed after threatening to infect security staff with Covid-19 and stab them with a needle.

HMP Edinburgh inmate Robert Burns appeared at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court by video link to admit acting threateningly on January 27.

Fiscal depute Stewart Duncan explained Burns had been suspected of sneaking yoghurts into a carrier bag at Kirkcaldy’s Asda supermarket.

He was confronted by staff members Kofi Africa and Craig Mitchell as he tried to leave.

Mr Africa took Burns, 41, by the arm and he began to struggle.

Burns told the employees he had Covid and would infect them.

He also reached into his pocket and said: “I’ve got a needle in my pocket, I’ll stab you with it.”

A shopper helped bring Burns to the ground and he was arrested by police.

Cocaine addict

The court heard Burns had only been liberated from an eight-month prison sentence in October.

His solicitor Eilidh Grant said her client had been wearing a face covering at the time and had been concerned about social distancing.

She said: “He was struggling significantly with addiction to cocaine at the time.

“He had been under the influence on the date libelled and hadn’t sought any help at this point.”

Sheriff Maryam Labaki jailed father-of-one Burns for 18 months, backdated to January when he was first remanded.

She said: “Mr Burns, you have a lengthy record.

“Your behaviour on January 27 was disgusting and must have been terrifying for the staff who had to deal with you on that day.”

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Kirkcaldy – The Courier