View Full Version : Jailed for police assault

16-Apr-15, 18:08
No alternative to prison for attempting to head-butt officer

AN excess of drink and post army service stress was blamed for an assault by James Beresford on a police officer.
But Sheriff Andrew Berry said the incident was a serious matter and there could be no alternative to a prison sentence. He jailed James Beresford for 108 days.
Beresford, 27, admitted attempting to headbutt constable David Souter, at East Gills, near Thurso, on September 21st, last year. He also pleaded guilty to breaching a community service order, imposed previously, and a record.
Wick Sheriff Court heard, today,that Beresford resented being detained for a matter in which he was subsequently found to have had no involvement in.
David Barclay, prosecuting, said that Beresford, of 88 Ironside Place, Thurso, told police that he had consumed a half-bottle of whisky prior to the incident but had stopped drinking since then.
Solicitor Diane MacFarlane said that the accused suffered from post traumatic stress disorder from his army days. He had been taking psychiatric advice and hoped to start treatment after the assault case was over.
Beresford, suffered additional stress while running his own garage business and had at that time been drinking "too much".
Ms MacFarlane added: "He reacted as a result of his PTSD and the alcohol he had consumed which affected his ability to adjust properly to what was going on. He comes across as a ticking time-bomb."
Appealing for a non-custodial sentence, the solicitor made the point that Beresford was receiving support from his partner and was "showing a commitment" towards completing the oustanding period of community service. She added: "He feels that there has been an element of stability in this life, in the past month."
However, Sheriff Berry observing Beresford's record and his "appalling" attitude to his community service, said he didn't believe that the accused's army training would have involved him headbutting someone going about their lawful duties.
The sheriff reminded Beresford of a previous conviction involving him shouting and swearing at a former partner and threatening to kill her and had been "extremely fortunate" to receive a community service sentence, on that occasion.
Sheriff Berry said he would refrain from making a three-month jail sentence on the breach of community service, consecutive, in the hope that Beresford would "mend his ways" when he returned to the community. That sentence will run concurrent and won't add to the 108 days Beresford will serve.