Tayside and Central Scotland

Killer sent back to jail 'couldn't cope with freedom'

Raymond McCourt Image copyright Perthshire Picture Agency
Image caption Raymond McCourt told police he was struggling to adapt to life outside of prison

A convicted killer has been sent back to prison after stealing from his girlfriend within weeks of his release.

Raymond McCourt was jailed for life in 1993 for murdering a newsagent, but was deemed suitable for release on licence earlier this year.

However, he admitted stealing and selling off his partner's valuables within weeks of leaving prison.

Perth Sheriff Court heard that he was struggling to cope with freedom and wanted to go back behind bars.

McCourt, who is originally from Glasgow, was given a life sentence in 1993 for charges including murder, attempted murder, assault and robbery, assault to severe injury and firearms offences.

He shot Cambuslang shopkeeper Khalid Mahmood in the head, killing him, before attempting to rob a nearby bakery.

The then 27-year-old also shot local woman Moira Rooney and PC Brian Williams, who was giving chase as the gunman fled the scene.

Now aged 49, McCourt was released from prison on licence earlier this year, and went to live with his partner Agnes Hailes in Alyth, Perthshire.

'Final blow-out'

When she went away for the weekend between 6 and 8 March, McCourt stole jewellery, cash, watches, mobile phones and a video camera from her home and pawned them for about £780.

He used the money to fund a week-long holiday to Blackpool, and was eventually tracked down by police who had been searching for him after he was reported missing.

He told police that he was struggling to cope with life outside of prison, and had taken the items to treat himself to a blow-out before going back to prison for breaching the terms of his release.

Sheriff William Wood handed McCourt a 10-month sentence for the theft, and recalled him to prison on his life sentence.

He said: "I expect you might not see the light of day for quite some time."

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