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Man threatened to burn houses down after job rejection

Joseph McKinlay had demanded £500 a week to watch over a building site in Glasgow.

Court: McKInlay will be sentenced in March (file pic).
Court: McKInlay will be sentenced in March (file pic). Stephen Sweeney

A man who threatened to set fire to houses on a building site if he was not given a security job has been jailed.

Joseph McKinlay, 36, was turned down when he went to the site in Pollok, Glasgow, looking for work.

But he returned on a number of occasions, demanding a job to prevent vandals targeting the site.

He told site manager Robert Faulds he would burn part of the site to the ground and said "I will let the young team in - they are dying to get in here".

McKinlay, from Pollok, pled guilty on Tuesday at Glasgow Sheriff Court to attempting to extort money from Mr Faulds between July 10 and September 8, 2017.

He also admitted a charge of possessing a machete on September 14, 2017.

The court heard there had been a spate of vandalism and fire-raising at the building site, owned by Glasgow Housing Association.

Site manager Mr Faulds, 46, was approached in July last year by McKinlay who said he could put a stop to the vandals.

McKinlay's offer was declined, but he returned the following month and told the manager: "This is how it's going to be: you will provide me with a bothy to sit in and I will guarantee there will be no further incidents."

Procurator fiscal depute Mark Allan said: "He told Mr Faulds that if he didn't go along with this then the two house kits constructed would both be burned to the ground."

McKinlay demanded £500 a week for the job, but was again turned down.

When he returned to the site a third time, he threatened to steal CCTV cameras, "burn the site to the ground", and torch Mr Faulds' car.

Following the threats, new security arrangements were made at a cost of £3000 to the site owners.

McKinlay was picked up by the police less than a week later after they saw him throw a machete into a hedge.

Sheriff Daniel Scullion deferred sentence until March and McKinlay was remanded in custody.

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