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Man frightened shop owner to death during drunken rampage

David De Montfalcon had a heart attack after Alan Rooney destroyed his antiques shop in Edinburgh.

Scene: Cabinets were smashed.

A man killed a shop owner by frightening him to death during a drunken rampage at his antiques shop.

Alan Rooney placed David De Montfalcon, 64, under so much pressure that the father-of-three had a heart attack and died, a court heard.

Rooney walked into Mr De Montfalcon’s shop, the Emporium on Home Street in Edinburgh, on August 25, 2018.

The 35-year-old, who had been drinking, came into the store, picked up an acoustic guitar and smashed it against the floor before standing on the instrument.

He then tried to break an electric guitar over his knee and started shouting threats to people in the shop before smashing up glass cabinets and merchandise.

Moments after, Rooney left the store but Mr De Montfalcon, who moved to Scotland from London to enjoy a better quality of life, fell seriously unwell.

Prosecution lawyer Alex Prentice QC told judge Lord Turnbull: “After the accused left, Mr De Montfalcon said he had never seen the accused before.

“The police arrived and started efforts to trace the accused. Mr De Montfalcon’s demeanour changed, he looked unwell and his tone of voice changed.

“He declined the offer of a drink. Mr De Montfalcon then collapsed. The police attended to him.

“An ambulance was called and Stephen Foster and David Thomson, paramedics attended and took over CPR.

“A pulse was briefly achieved. Mr De Montfalcon was given adrenalin intravenously and was taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.”

Rooney, of Moredunvale Bank, Edinburgh, pleaded guilty to a charge of culpable homicide.

Mr Prentice added: “The accused had been drinking alcohol during the course of the day. The accused shouted to the two customers present a number of threatening and abusive comments regarding the owner.

“The accused punched glass cabinets causing them to smash. Mr De Montfalcon was sitting at a desk in the back area of the shop. The accused then directed abuse towards the back area of the premises pointing and shouting.

“It appears that the accused was unaware that Mr De Montfalcon was the owner of the premises and that the abuse was not being directed at ant particular person present.

“The accused picked up an acoustic guitar and smashed it against the floor and stood on the guitar. He then picked up a guitar stand and used it to smash a glass cabinet.

Guitar: The shop was destroyed. Crown Office

“The accused tried to break an electric guitar over his knee. One of the customers left the shop, the other tried unsuccessfully to calm the accused down.

“Mr De Montfalcon tried to engage with the accused, saying ‘come on man’ trying to calm him down. The accused appeared oblivious to Mr De Montfalcon being the owner.”

Police arrested Rooney nearby at 2.25pm – however, he was so drunk that officers couldn’t interview him until he had sobered up at 6.30am the following day.

Lord Turnbull deferred sentence for the court to obtain reports on Rooney’s character and background.

He will be sentenced at the High Court in Edinburgh in September.


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