A man and woman convicted of robbing a young Aberdeen FC footballer have cost the taxpayer more than £26,000 in legal aid, it can be revealed.
Shaun Stewart, previously known as Paton, 33, and Lana McAllister, known as Smart, 30, were convicted at Aberdeen Sheriff Court in the summer.
They were found guilty of striking the window of the car Dons youth player David Dangana was travelling in, repeatedly punching him on the head, threatening him with violence by brandishing a knife, and injuring him with the intent to rob him.
Stewart was jailed for 32 months while McAllister was handed 300 hours of unpaid work for her role in the incident, as well as a two-year supervision order and a 12-month restriction of liberty order as an alternative to a custodial sentence.
They were acting with Kyle Cameron, who previously pled guilty to punching Mr Dangana with the intent to rob him and was handed a 26-month jail term.
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Now it can be revealed Stewart was given £12,658.78 in legal aid, with McAllister receiving £13,980.87 towards her legal defence.
North-east Conservative shadow justice secretary Liam Kerr said: “Legal aid is a safety net for people who don’t have the means to fight their case in court.”
He added: “It isn’t a perfect system and lots of people who should get it, don’t. People may be angered by these figures and I would understand the reason why.
“But one thing can’t be disputed – these offenders have been given the very best defence public money can buy.”
A spokesman for the Scottish Legal Aid Board said: “Legal aid is paid to solicitors to ensure that an accused person, including those eventually convicted of a serious crime, is professionally represented in court so the justice system can operate properly and fairly for all concerned.
“While certain criminal cases attract attention, legal aid allows large numbers of often vulnerable people to get help with their legal problems.”