View Full Version : Jail sentence suspended

29-Oct-16, 09:53
Accused's operation given priority by Wick sheriff

A SHERIFF reluctantly refrained yesterday from sending a man, who verbally abused a woman in a wheelchair, to jail.
John Goodbrand, 60, is waiting for an urgent operation for a burst hernia and Sheriff Andrew Berry said that passing a custodial sentence might create problems for the prison authorities and jeopardize the accused's place on the operations list..
But the sheriff warned Goodbrand at Wick, that the jail sentence was still on the cards and continued the case for a month, pending an update on the medical position.
Goodbrand previously admitted a charge of threatening or abusive behaviour at his home at 24 Provost Sinclair Road, Thurso on June 25, aggravated by prejudice to someone with a disability.
He opened a window of his home and told a neighbour sitting in her wheelchair on a ramp -"There is nothing wrong with you...get to f***k out of here". He followed that outburst with further abuse: "You f*****g cripple...you will never get out of that scooter".
The incident was reported to the police who found the accused asleep in his home in "an intoxicated state". The victim of his abuse was said to have been 'distressed' by Goodbrand's comments.
Solicitor Fiona MacDonald said that Goodbrand, who was 'ashamed' of his conduct, had initially been at the top of the Caithness General Hospital operations list but was subsequently told that, given his condition, the operation would now take place at Raigmore Hospital, Inverness.
Sheriff Andrew Berry commented: "He needs hospital treatment quite soon but it is not available at the moment?"
Miss MacDonald said: "He has been on the waiting list for some time but has still not been given a date."
Sheriff Berry, who saw a background report, told Goodbrand: "I would have been perfectly entitled to sent you to prison today, in respect of this matter and be in no doubt, that is still very much in my mind."
Goodbrand will reappear in court on November 24.