A man claimed he found a “missing” Glasgow Commonwealth Games mascot in a skip and took it home as his children would “love it”.
Kevin Maguire, 39, is said to have taken the mascot named Clyde to his home in Glasgow’s Drumchapel between May and July 2021.
Court papers state Maguire found the “life-size statue” resembling a thistle elsewhere without attempting to discover the true owner.
Maguire is on trial where he has pled not guilty to the single charge of theft by finding at Glasgow Sheriff Court.
His wife Lisa Marie Maguire, 35, told the court that she received a call from her husband in May 2021.
She said she was told by Maguire that he found the 2014 Commonwealth Games statue in a skip near a pub in the city’s Govan which his firm was renovating.
Prosecutor Jennifer Sillars asked: “Did he ask to bring it back?”
Mrs Maguire said: “He said the kids will love it.”
Mrs Maguire added that the statue was initially kept on the street before being put in the back garden where it was still visible to passers-by.
The witness was then visited by the police months after she said the statue was put in the garden.
Sillars asked what the officers told her.
She replied: “I can’t remember – they said they believed there was a statue in the house.
“I said ‘right okay you will need to speak to my husband’ and I phoned Kevin and that’s when they started to describe the statue.
“I thought it must be the statue that’s in the back garden whose name was Clyde.
“They said it went missing years and years ago – maybe 2014.”
Sillars asked why the witness did not report the statue as missing to the police.
She replied: “I didn’t know it was stolen.”
Sillars said: “You knew it didn’t belong to him.”
Mrs Maguire replied: “It was found in a skip, I didn’t think anything of it.”
The witness later told Maguire’s lawyer that officers were laughing and thought it was “funny” before removing the statue into a cell van.
She added: “We had a European Cup [in the kitchen] that was fire damaged and the officers asked if that was real – it was a joke.”
The witness also denied knowing the value of the statue or any intention to sell it on.
PC Andrew Leishman, 40, told the court that he spoke to Maguire on the phone that day.
He agreed with Tony Callaghan, defending, when it was put to him that Maguire asked if it was a “wind up.”
Mr Callaghan also inquired as to why there were news reporters at the scene when police arrived.
The officer replied: “They may have known.”
Mr Callaghan asked: “Do you have any information as to why that would be?”
PC Leishman said: “No.”
The trial continues before Sheriff Brian Cameron in January next year.
Maguire remains on bail in the meantime.