Policeman caught out as teenager locks him in house

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Desperate not to be arrested for fear of missing a party that night, Stuart Moffett locked PC Barrie Keown in his house and ran away.

PC Keown had arrived at the 19-year-old’s Church Street home in Galashiels after he had been seen stealing alcohol from two local supermarkets.

While the officer phoned the accused’s solicitor to advise him of the arrest, Moffett ran out of the house and removed the spindle from the door handle, preventing it from being opened.

Former Greens player and current Linden stalwart, PC Keown, was forced to call colleagues to come to his rescue.

Inspector Michael Wynne told the Hawick News: “This was an operational incident whereby an officer was helping an individual in contacting his solicitor, although this was returned by the individual running off. He was however arrested a short time later.”

Moffett admitted stealing a bottle of alcohol from Asda on December 21 and another from Tesco on December 22. He also pleaded guilty to obstructing police at his home on January 8.

Depute procurator fiscal Mark Keane told Selkirk Sheriff Court on Monday how Moffett was caught on CCTV in both stores stealing a £12 bottle of alcohol, neither of which were recovered. Police turned up at his home on January 8 around 2.15pm and told him he was being detained.

“He ran out of the house and locked one of the officers in the flat,” explained Mr Keane.

Moffett told police: “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it.”

Defending, Iain Burke said his client had been due to attend a party that night and didn’t want to miss it.

“When he heard the officer on the phone to me, advising me that he was being detained, he ran out and pulled the spindle from the door,” said Mr Burke. “The officer had to contact his colleague, who caught the accused, and he had to break in and let the constable, no doubt slightly red-faced, out.”

Mr Burke said Moffett had acted on impulse as he didn’t want to miss the party and more drink.

“His course of action spectacularly backfired as he spent the weekend in custody,” added Mr Burke.

The accused, who has an alcohol problem which began when he was 14, was placed on probation for 18 months with a condition he performs 80 hours’ community service and undertakes alcohol counselling.