18 months for man who drove van into police HQ — (Edinburgh News)

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Edinburgh News

Wednesday 05 March 2003

A 36-YEAR-OLD man who drove his camper van through the glass entrance of Lothian and Borders Police headquarters has been jailed for 18 months.

Raymond Stein, of 39 Parkgrove Crescent, Edinburgh, appeared in the city’s Sheriff Court on December 2 when he pleaded guilty to driving his Volkswagen Caravelle van “in a culpable and reckless manner”.

The charge added that the van continued through the glass frontage of the building into the reception area, “all to the danger of life and damage to the property”. The damage caused by the incident, which took place on February 7 last year, cost thousands of pounds to repair.

Sentence had been deferred on Stein for a number of reports, including a psychiatric report.

Defence agent Euan Robertson told Sheriff Andrew Bell yesterday that Stein had a record of psychiatric problems and was on medication for depression.

“He is a man who likes to go out drinking alcohol,” he said, “and Your Lordship will be well aware of the link between drinking alcohol and depression.”

Sheriff Bell said he accepted that Stein was suffering from a depressive illness at the time of the offence, but he added it was a very serious matter and only a custodial sentence was appropriate.

He jailed Stein for 18 months and added that because he had placed two security guards in danger, he would make a supervised release order of nine months to protect the public.