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Chick Young's fury as case closed

TV FOOTBALL pundit Chick Young has told of his upset after charges against a man accused of breaking into his house were dropped due to a lack of corroborative evidence.

chick YOUNG: Late son's bracelet was stolen in raid.
chick YOUNG: Late son's bracelet was stolen in raid.

The 61-year-old BBC commentator injured his arm and suffered bruising as he tried to stop the thief fleeing in his S-Type Jaguar by clinging on to the bonnet.

But Young said that although he had identified who he thought the robber was, it was not enough for prosecutors to proceed with the case.

It is understood the charges were not pursued after a witness was unable to provide evidence that would allow the case to go ahead.

The TV star supported Scottish Government moves to abolish corroboration, a linchpin of Scots law, which requires at least two independent pieces of evidence for a conviction to succeed.

He told The Herald: "I am far from happy, but what can I do?

"I identified [a man]. He broke into the house, took my car keys and I caught him stealing the car.

"For me it [corroboration] is a flaw in the law, which I believe is being addressed. The timing is not good for me but it is a classic example of why they should try and do something about it."

Steven Connelly, 30, who was charged with breaking into Young's Pollokshields home on September 13, 2011, was due to stand trial yesterday at Glasgow Sheriff Court before the case against him was dropped.

Mr Connelly was accused of stealing an iPad, laptop, a signet ring given to the journalist by his mother, a watch and his late son's bracelet from his home. He also allegedly stole the Jaguar.

Mr Connelly, also of Pollokshields, was charged with stealing other items including washing powder and fabric conditioner between September 12 and September 13, 2011.

Connolly maintained his pleas of not guilty to all the charges.

Young said: "I can be disappointed but I am sure they [the procurator-fiscal's office] are as upset as I am. It would have been a waste of the court's time apparently."

He said he felt the thief responsible should even have been charged with a more serious offence.

"One of the problems for me earlier on was the charge was housebreaking," he said. "But I felt that, given as I was actually hanging on to the bonnet of the car in a kind of impersonation of Starsky and Hutch as the thief went through the garden gates, the thief should have been charged with a lot more than just that – assault or attempted murder."

The only item recovered was a signet ring given to him by his mother found down the seat of a car owned by a fellow BBC employee which had been broken into a mile-and-a-half from his home.

But he has given up hope of recovering the bracelet belonging to his son Keith, who died in a motorcycle crash 11 years ago.

He said: "Whoever broke into my house took my son's bracelet which was precious to me and I'll never get that back. My son's bracelet was all I really wanted back."

He said he understood the mentality of anyone who has used violence to protect their homes.

"The thief was really lucky he wasn't hurt, because if I had got into that car ... I am not a courageous man or a fighter, but you become a lunatic [in that situation] you really do and I can understand anyone who would protect their family, their house, their property."

A Crown Office spokesman said: "It is the duty of the Crown to keep cases under review and after full and careful consideration of all of the available evidence, the procurator-fiscal instructed that there could be no further proceedings in relation to this matter."

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