Glasgow & West Scotland

Electric shock metal thief William Durnan's 'arm melted'

A metal thief who sawed through a cable carrying 11,000 volts has said the electric shock "melted" his arm.

William Durnan, 44, cut power to half of Johnstone town centre, Renfrewshire, after targeting a junction box in the town's Barochan Road on 19 August.

His lawyer told Paisley Sheriff Court how he was severely injured and left "looking like the professor from the Back To The Future movie".

Sheriff Neil Douglas deferred sentence on Durnan for reports.

The court heard how the explosion awoke local residents from their beds at about 06:50.

Unable to talk

Durnan, who was left badly burned, went to a nearby house for help and was unable to talk.

The emergency services were alerted and he was rushed to Paisley's Royal Alexandra Hospital and later transferred to a specialist burns unit at Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

Durnan's lawyer Terry Gallanagh told Sheriff Neil Douglas: "Your lordship will have heard about many shocking offences over the years, but perhaps none as literally as this.

"My client ended up on the doorstep of Mr Forsyth's home looking like the professor from the Back To The Future film with his hair and clothing burned to a cinder."

As he left the court, his left hand and arm still heavily bandaged, Durnan, from Dalry, North Ayrshire, admitted he had been lucky to survive.

Pulling a portion of the bandage back to reveal heavy scarring, he said: "My arm melted. I had to get plastic surgery."

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