Thug jailed for rape threat

Ross Tait was jailed at Haddington Sheriff Court. Picture: Gordon Fraser
Ross Tait was jailed at Haddington Sheriff Court. Picture: Gordon Fraser
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A THUG who was cleared of murdering a barman three years ago has now been jailed – after he threatened to rape a police officer’s sister.

Ross Tait made the disgusting comment to the officer while being arrested for breaching a bail condition banning him from a pub in Musselburgh, East Lothian.

Tait, 24, had launched an unprovoked attack on a woman outside the town’s Burgh Bar in August last year and had been banned from the premises by a court order.

But when officers spotted him walking into the pub three months later he was soon arrested for a second time.

Depute fiscal Brent Bissett told Haddington Sheriff Court during his arrest Tait had shouted: “I’m going to ruin you. I’m going to rape your sister - and you’re bird’s a slag.”

Tait was jailed for 14 months for a string of offences during an appearance at Haddington Sheriff Court on Wednesday.

Mr Bissett told the court Tait had punched the innocent woman, who suffered bruising and loose teeth during the assault, as he was being thrown out of the pub on 3 August last year.

Mr Bissett said: “He struck her on the face, knocking her to the ground. Police then traced the accused and he began struggling violently. He was confrontational towards them.”

He then gave false details to officers after being caught in nearby Prestonpans outwith his curfew just weeks later.

Tait, a supervisor at a poultry firm, was then spotted entering the Burgh Bar on 13 December last year despite being banned from the premises.

He was soon arrested but shouted the disgusting rape threat at one of the officers.

His solicitor told the court father-of-one Tait “accepted full responsibility for his actions” and he had felt the need to “act the big man” in front of his friends.

Sheriff Peter Braid sentenced Tait to a total 14 months in prison.

Tait, from Cockenzie, East Lothian, was acquitted of the brutal murder of bar man outside a Musselburgh pub in 2012.

He was accused, along with Ross Cameron, of murdering 40-year-old David McArdle outside the Clubhouse Bar the previous year.

Cameron finally pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of culpable homicide, while Tait, who was cleared of the murder, was convicted of assaulting doorman Derek Robertson with a wooden pole during the same incident.

Following a third trial at Edinburgh High Court in November 2012 Cameron was jailed for four years while Tait received a 14-month sentence for the doorman attack.