View Full Version : Cases from yesterday's sheriff court session

21-Mar-13, 08:50
Threatened to set fire to his home

A THURSO man “lost the plot” after his mother quizzed him about his drinking.
Brendon Stevens, 20, threw a pan of boiling water onto the floor of their home, shouted and swore and threatened to set fire to the house.
Stevens admitted threatening or abusive behaviour and a record, at Wick Sheriff Court, yesterday, and was ordered to carry out 100 hours unpaid work in the community.
David Barclay, prosecuting, described what happened after his mother’s enquiry about her son’s drinking.
The senior fiscal depute said: “Stevens was not happy, and his response was disproportionate to the enquiry. The accused simply lost the plot.”
Stevens shouted and swore and, after throwing the pan of water onto the floor, and made threats about setting their home at 29 Royal Terrace, Thurso, on fire.
When arrested by the police, he resisted being handcuffed and struggled with officers.
Sheriff Andrew Berry, commenting on a letter submitted by the accused’s mother, who was in court, disagreed with her opinion that Stevens’ behaviour was “out of character”.
The sheriff told the accused: “The reality is that your previous convictions say you are well capable of violence and disorderly conduct which results in custody and it is entirely your own fault. You have a reputation for this kind of conduct.”
Sheriff Berry said a background report indicated that Stevens was getting an insight into his issues and suggested that the community pay-back order might give him an opportunity to address them. The order will also consider the possibility of an anger management course.

Knife was in his boxers

POLICE who searched a man they had detained, discovered that he had been carrying the knife with a two-inch blade, around... in his boxer shorts.
However, the court was told that the knife had not been concealed as a weapon but was part of his drug-taking paraphernalia.
Peter Mackay admitted having the knife in a public place, Murchison Street, Wick, on March 9.
The hiding place was discovered by officers at Thurso police station.
Solicitor Jo McDonald said that Mackay of 15 Strathmore Place, Thurso, had had “a fairly troubled past” and had problems to face including drug addiction.
Mackay, who has a record, was remanded in custody until April 5 for reports which will include an assessment under the drug testing legislation.

Laughing in court could land you in the cells

THE sheriff has again “laid down the law” for people in the public benches who at times find criminal proceedings amusing.
Not for the first time, Sheriff Andrew Berry interrupted mitigation from a solicitor to press home a warning to those who “feel the business of the court is funny” about the consequences.
Addressing a minority of the “offenders” that they would be removed to the cells if they continued laughing and sniggering.
The sheriff outlined the worst scenario whereby he might be distracted from his deliberations to the extent he could make could make a wrong decision, and accidentally sent someone to prison.
Sheriff Berry, who has previously instructed the duty police officer to take a spectator to the cells, added that he would not tolerate the business of the court being disturbed.

May not be fit to stand trial

A FORMER Wick community councillor, who is facing three charges of indecent behaviour at a house in the town, might not be fit to stand trial.
William John Loughlin, 57, was due to stand trial on April 4 but his solicitor, Fiona MacDonald, told the court that Loughlin, of 42 Telford Street, Inverness, had undergone two operations and was awaiting a decision as to whether a third one was required.
The offences which Loughlin denies, allege that he committed the offences between August 15, 2005 and December 21, 2012.
He was granted bail when he originally appeared in December.
Ms MacDonald said yesterday that she was endeavouring to obtain medical reports to ascertain whether Loughlin was fit to plead.
The court will report back to the court on April 4.

Woodland assault accused admonished

THE sheriff has drawn a line under an incident on a Caithness estate which saw a landowner convicted of assault.
James Sutherland denied three charges but was found guilty last September. The case was continued to allow him to demonstrate he could behave.
The victims were elderly Forss fishery manager, Christopher Brocklebank-Fowler, 78, woodcutter Anthony Carberry and handyman Philip Adshead, both aged 35, accosted on a wooded track on April 12.
The court was told that Sutherland, 52, had hit Mr Brocklebank-Fowler three times with a branch, grabbed hold of Mr Carberry and manhandled Mr Ashead.
While the case centred on the alleged incidents, a right-of-way issue surfaced and it was claimed that the victims had disposing of a tree because it was blocking the path from the Forss House Hotel to the cottage Mr Brocklebank-Fowler rents from Sutherland.
Finding Sutherland guilty on all three counts, Sheriff Berry said he would allow some time to ensure that any heat in the atmosphere was dispersed.
The sheriff was yesterday advised that the accused had behaved in the interim period said that justice would be served by admonishing him.