Oct 5 2012 by Andrew Burns, Dumfries Standard Friday
A DUMFRIES shopkeeper yesterday described as “paltry” the 16-month jail term handed to a sword thug who attacked him.
Newsagent Paul Bedford claimed that 20-year-old Dean McMenamin, pictured below, showed no remorse when he appeared in court for sentencing.
McMenamin had previously pleaded guilty to a terrifying attack which left Mr Bedford and his partner Audrey Delaney fearing for their lives.
Mr Bedford said: “His defence was that he was on ‘drink or drugs’ and that says it all really.
“There was no apology – he certainly wasn’t sorry for what he did.
“Not that I would accept it anyway but you have to question what a paltry prison sentence will do to change him.”
Fifty-one-year-old Mr Bedford added: “This scumbag is now exactly where he belongs.
“It’s hardly a punishment considering he will most likely be back on the streets less than a year after it happened.
“We have moved on but you have to say that this is not real justice.
“I was there and I saw with my own eyes what this thug was trying to do.
“He had his mind made up that he was going to hurt or even kill Audrey and I and is a short jail term reflective of that?
“I have read about drug addicts stealing things to feed their habit who get prison sentences like this.
“What is the difference between theft of a product and the potential loss of a life?”
Sentencing McMenamin to 16 months, Dumfries Sheriff Kenneth Ross told him that it would have been two years, but for his early plea.
Mr Bedford felt that the sentence has little deterrent effect.
He said: “My biggest worry is that it doesn’t exactly send out a message to others.
“I looked at his face in court this week and he had absolutely no remorse for what he had done.”
McMenamin, described in court on Tuesday as a prisoner at Polmont, had admitted behaving in a threatening manner at Henderson’s newsagents on July 21, brandishing an ornamental sword and attempting to force entry.
The court also heard that he threatened to assault a police officer when he was off duty and said he would rip his throat out and bite his face.
He admitted threatening the two members of staff and repeatedly striking a glass panel on the door and shattering it.
Depute fiscal Alison Herald told the court last month that Paul and Audrey, 56, were “in fear for their lives”.
They were waiting on newspapers being delivered at around 5.10am when McMenamin appeared on the other side of the road with the blade in his hand.
The couple had to barricade themselves in the shop until the police arrived.
McMenamin was seen by police after the attack carrying the sword in his hand before he dropped it and ran off but he was quickly traced and arrested.
Mr Bedford, a former pub owner from London, added: “I must give credit to the police for their handling of the situation.
“They were quick out at the time and dealt with the guy quickly.
“Audrey and I have moved on. We have put this ordeal behind us and quite frankly, I’m more concerned about the form of my football team, Henderson’s Colts, than this scumbag.”