Tayside and Central Scotland

Strathmartine Hospital blaze teenager faces custody

A teenager set fire to the former Strathmartine Hospital building, completely destroying its contents, a court heard.

Aarron Beveridge went to the derelict hospital, by Dundee and set the outbuilding alight in June 2013.

Forfar Sheriff Court heard the building has been repeatedly targeted by teenage vandals and fire-raisers.

Beveridge, 19, of Teviotdale Avenue, Dundee, admitted a charge of wilful fire-raising.

Co-accused, Liam Burns, 18 had his not guilty plea to the same charge accepted by the Crown.

Depute Joanne Smith told the court: "The fire was discovered around 10:00 on 1 June, 2013 and police were contacted.

"They found the building well alight.

"A farmer gave a description of two males walking away from the locus and the accused was then traced."

The court heard that Beveridge smelled strongly of smoke and was found with a pair of gloves and a balaclava.

The court was told the building was rendered structurally unsafe by the blaze and its contents were destroyed.

Ms Smith said: "He gave a no comment interview but when he was charged he said 'I know I did it like, it was stupid, I know'."

Sheriff Gregor Murray deferred sentence until next month for social work background reports and released Beveridge on bail.

He said: "You have no record at all and have appeared on indictment for a serious offence.

"A custodial sentence is still a possibility even despite your lack of record."

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