Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Man jailed for scaring Edinburgh shopkeeper to death

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Media captionCCTV shows Rooney's drunken rampage in the shop

A man who admitted killing an Edinburgh shopkeeper by frightening him to death during a drunken rampage has been jailed for four-and-a-half years.

Alan Rooney trashed David De Montfalcon's Emporium store in Edinburgh in August 2018.

The 64-year-old dad became seriously unwell and eventually suffered a fatal heart attack as a result.

Rooney, 35, appeared at the High Court in Glasgow after he pleaded guilty to culpable homicide.

It had emerged he was handed a community payback order just months before the killing to address his offending.

Image caption Alan Rooney has earlier admitted culpable homicide

Lord Turnbull told him: "It is plain, while intoxicated, you proceeded to take out your frustrations on others you encountered in Edinburgh.

"You culminated this journey of self-indulgent aggression with your conduct at Mr De Montfalcon's shop."

The judge said CCTV footage of the "terrifying" incident showed Rooney being "violent and destructive for a prolonged period" in the store.

The court was also told the tragedy has had an "ongoing and devastating" effect on Mr De Montfalcon's widow and family.

Lord Turnbull said Rooney, from Edinburgh, would have been jailed for six years but for his plea.

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

A hearing in Edinburgh was earlier told how Rooney walked into the shop and smashed a guitar against the floor.

He then tried to break another guitar before yelling threats, wrecking cabinets and merchandise.

Prosecutor Alex Prentice said: "Mr De Montfalcon tried to engage with Rooney saying 'come on man' and attempting to calm him down.

"Rooney appeared oblivious."

Two American tourists stepped in to help the shopkeeper before Rooney eventually left.

Mr Prentice added: "Mr De Montfalcon appeared to be scared - his demeanour changed, he looked unwell and his tone of voice changed.

"He declined the offer of a drink and he then collapsed."

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

The hearing was told Rooney did not intend to kill the shopkeeper.

But, Mr Prentice added: "It is clear the extreme nature of the 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 court was told Rooney had a "perceived grievance" against the shopkeeper that day.

His QC John Scullion added: "He is not insisting that there is any truth in the information that he was given (about Mr De Montfalcon)."

Lord Turnbull replied: "The fact he perceived there was a grievance is a form of aggravation.

"It implies that he intended to take the law into his own hands."

Mr Scullion also told the court Rooney would like to "express" his apparent remorse in a "more personal way" when he is freed from jail.

Sentencing, Lord Turnbull also paid tribute to the "brave conduct" of the tourists who tried to help Mr De Montfalcon.

He said such "public spirited decency" was in "stark contrast to the selfish and violent behaviour" of Rooney.

Image copyright Crown Office
Image caption Rooney caused considerable damage to the shop

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