Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Man 'scared shopkeeper to death' after wrecking spree

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Media captionCCTV shows Rooney's drunken rampage in the shop

A man has admitted killing an Edinburgh shopkeeper by frightening him to death during a drunken rampage.

David De Montfalcon died from a heart attack after Alan Rooney entered his shop in Edinburgh's Tollcross in August last year.

The victim had a history of heart problems and a court heard stress caused by the incident led to his death.

Rooney, 35, admitted culpable homicide and will be sentenced at a later date.

Image copyright Phil Butler
Image caption David De Montfalcon collapsed in his Edinburgh shop after the incident last August

The High Court in Edinburgh heard Mr De Montfalcon, 64, ran a shop called the Edinburgh Emporium and sold quirky items, art, musical instruments and other collectables.

On 25 August last year Rooney entered the shop carrying a can of lager or cider and started shouting and swearing.

He proceeded to smash glass cabinets and damage guitars.

Image caption Alan Rooney admitted culpable homicide

Customers and American tourists joined Mr de Montfalcon in trying to calm him down and, after five minutes, he left the scene.

Mr De Montfalcon appeared shocked and scared by Mr Rooney's behaviour and collapsed after police arrived at the shop.

He was taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary but later died.

Pathologists reported that Mr De Montfalcon's heart had been enlarged but he would probably still be alive had the incident not taken place.

Prosecutor Alex Prentice QC told the court: "The Crown accepts that the death was not the intended consequence of the accused's actions but it is clear that the extreme nature of the accused's conduct caused significant stress to Mr De Montfalcon and that led to his death.

"Had this incident not occurred, there is no indication that Mr De Montfalcon would have died that day."

The judge, Lord Turnbull, told unemployed Rooney: "You have pled guilty to an offence involving abusive threatening and reckless conduct of a most disgraceful and frightening kind."

Image copyright Crown Office
Image caption A guitar was among the damaged items

The court heard the shopkeeper's wife had submitted a victim impact statement.

Lord Turnbull added: "That statement makes it clear that your conduct has resulted in the devastation of the life of Mr De Montfalcon's family.

"Their whole life has been altered irretrievably as a consequence of your conduct and the premature death of a much loved father and husband.

"No sentence which the court can impose will undo the consequences of your behaviour nor can it alleviate the grief and upset suffered by Mr De Montfalcon's wife and family."

The judge said he had to impose a sentence which would reflect "society's disgust and unwillingness to tolerate frightening and aggressive conduct."

He remanded Rooney in custody.

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